One way young people can help establish a personal finance history is through a credit card, although new federal rules may make it more difficult for them to acquire an account.
The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act requires that people under 21 find a co-signer for credit card accounts unless the young consumer can prove they have the income to support having a credit card. The rule has been in effect since February 22 of this year.
The regulations also make it more difficult for credit card companies to market to young people on college campuses and through the mail. The Credit CARD Act reduces the number of pre-screened offers that can be made to younger people and also limits free giveaways on college campuses associated with opening new accounts.
While the federal government’s efforts to help young people preserve their personal finances have been in place for a number of months, some states took matters into their own hands. Connecticut and New Jersey passed laws that were similar to the Credit CARD Act.