Is owning a credit card in your early 20s a smart move? Yes, and here’s why

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Image: Pexels

In the Philippines, owning a credit card is a feat usually associated with the mature and financially stable. That’s why getting one as early in life as possible may sound unwise, but that’s actually a sound and even crucial advice.

Once you hit 21, applying for your own credit card opens up a world of benefits that it’s almost a prerequisite rather than a privilege in life. Here’s what you stand to gain as a young credit cardholder.

You can build a healthy credit history sooner

If you’re eyeing your first credit card the minute you qualify for one, chances are, you’re already aiming to build a robust credit history from the get-go. That’s because owning and using a credit card diligently gives your credit profile a boost.

Why should credit scores count during your early 20s, you ask? That’s because the better your credit standing is, the more chances you have of being approved for a loan, securing more significant purchases, and even landing a job. 

Having a credit card to improve your credit standing shows your financial diligence even at an early age.

You get to develop responsible money habits

Speaking of diligence, you also get the chance to be more financially savvy and skillful with money matters. That’s because, in fewer words, owning a credit card means accepting more mature responsibilities.

No doubt you can go through life without having to own a credit card and bear these financial burdens. However, that also means missing out on teachable moments such as handling debt, controlling impulse purchases, managing your credit and deposit accounts, and allocating your finances in general, things in life that you inevitably have to deal with anyway.

Plus, the earlier you start your credit journey, the better you can enlist the help of your parents to help you learn. That’s something that older people can’t claim to have experienced.

You earn a lot more rebates and cash-back rewards

And who doesn’t love rebates and cash-backs, right?

Depending on the credit card you apply for, you will most likely get perks from your usual, everyday purchases. You’ll have to pay for your groceries, utility bills, home essentials, and travel expenses anyway, so you might as well start receiving rewards in return as early as possible, right?

If they’re not after the rewards, then maybe being qualified for flexible payment terms sounds more attractive to younger folks. Especially if you’re still grappling with adult life or saving up for a significant buy as you start your 20s, being eligible for cheaper monthly payments at zero-percent interest will surely help you get by.

You get to qualify for better loans and programs 

Probably the most important advantage for the newly-minted adult is the chance to make the grade for bigger loans and better mortgage programs in the future.

It’s all about having a head start. The sooner you start your credit profile and the faster it builds through your credit card ownership, the better odds you have of securing that loan for your new home, car, and even further studies. As opposed to if you start much later on, getting a credit card early diversifies your options, giving you more freedom to choose how to live your best possible life.

With the right mindset (and of course, the right card!), owning a credit card in your early 20s means less about spending expensively and more about living responsibly. 

You may make a few financial mistakes along the way. However, the sooner you learn from these, the faster your future self will thank you for choosing to start early.


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