At what age should a person start being concerned about building credit? Whenever a child has an open or authorized credit line, they’re building a credit profile. Although most people need to be at least 18 with an income to receive a loan or a credit card, authorized usership is available at any age.

That’s because the child isn’t responsible for the credit line when they’re added as an authorized user. Some issuers set age minimums, but most don’t because the original account holder is who pays the bill.

By adding your child to your credit cards, they can benefit from your positive history. It doesn’t have the same impact as being the primary account holder, but it’s still better than nothing. 

You Don’t Need to Give Your Child the Credit Card

Just because you add an authorized user to your account doesn’t mean you need to give your child the credit card. You can wait until they’re responsible enough to know not to use it without your permission.

That structure makes it easier to help your kids become a financial adult earlier.

If you have a strong credit profile, co-signing for your child’s first credit card at 18, helping them with a loan, or another lending product helps them establish a positive record. This option has more risks since you’d be responsible if they default on any debt.

Secured credit cards, alternative credit options, and credit-builder loans all work to establish a positive history. Before you choose any of these options, it’s important to educate your kids about money and how to manage it to ensure they can make more intelligent decisions when they move away from home.