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63% of millennials do not have a credit card, report says

Oct 1, 2014

Credit User: Eric Allix Rogers / Flickr

A recent report from Bankrate.com finds millennials are not embracing credit cards the way their parents or older siblings have done.

A hefty 63% of millennials do not have a credit card.

Brian O'Connor is the Detroit News personal finance columnist. He says one of the reasons young people aren't using credit cards is that they can't get them. 

"It's harder for kids to qualify – because they probably don't have jobs, and they have a bunch of debts," explains O'Connor.

O'Connor also says many millennials don't want to use credit cards, in part because of a generational shift since the recession. 

"A lot of them are using debit cards, so that have access to a bank, and they are just choosing not to use credit," says O'Connor.

But are they missing out on the opportunity to build a credit record?

O'Connor says one of the ways to make it work is that parents can add children to their cards as authorized signers. That will allow credits to be reported in the kids' names. 

"That gives some credit history, and it also means you'll be able to go online and see the bank statements," says O'Conner.

* Listen to the conversation with Brian O'Connor above.