A Guide for Credit Card Newbies

For many teenagers, there’s no better feeling than the first time they hold a credit card.

The rush from running one’s fingers along the raised numbers, as they watch the card shine with each turn, sends tingles up their arms.

They think, “Now I can afford everything I’ve always wanted.”

Despite such excitement, these newbies need to know how to use a credit card responsibly if they want to set themselves on a path toward a stable financial future.

Teenagers commonly start building credit by having their parents make them an authorized user on their card; other parents co-sign for their child to get their own credit card. With credit playing an important role in a number of financial determinations, learning good habits at the start can give consumers the edge they need when applying for an auto loan, a mortgage, or even a job.

If you’re on the verge of becoming a credit card user, here’s what you need to know to understand how to use this light, yet powerful, piece of plastic.

Story by Daniel Bortz for US News and World Report.

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