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Using a credit card is the only way to build up a credit history and a credit score. Using a debit card does not build credit – as a debit card is simply using your own money.
It’s important for young people to open up a credit card at an early age — ideally while in college — so they can build up a good credit history by their mid-twenties. It generally takes a few years to earn a strong credit history.
A strong credit history consists of paying your bills on time and paying off the balance of your credit card in full every month. Plus, if you don’t pay off your balance in full, you’ll be subject to interest charges, which can accrue pretty quickly.
Many young people open up multiple credit cards in college – that’s not necessary. Start with one card – and use it responsibly. Then, you can open up another credit card within a few years.
Remember, if you ever want a mortgage or a car loan, you’re going to need a good credit score – that’s why it’s important to take steps when you’re younger to open up a credit card and use it responsibly.