More than six in 10 millennials don’t have a credit card, and only a minority of those who do have them pay off the entire balance every month, a new study shows.
Bankrate.com, an online publisher of personal finance news, said 63 percent of adults ages 18 to 29 don’t have credit cards.
“Millennials may think they’re staying out of financial trouble by forgoing credit cards, but they’re doing a disservice to themselves and their credit scores,” Bankrate.com credit-card analyst Jeanine Skowronski said in a statement. “The responsible use of credit cards is one of the easiest ways to build a strong credit score, which is essential for qualifying for insurance policies, auto and mortgage loans, and sometimes even a job.”
Also, only 40 percent of millennials pay their entire balance every month, and 3 percent admit to missing payments completely.
Bankrate.com believes that student-loan debt is making younger consumers wary of carrying credit cards in their wallets. Also, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility & Disclosure Act of 2009, called the CARD Act for short, made it harder for Americans under the age of 21 to get credit cards.
Among older adults, about a third have no credit cards, and, among those who have credit cards, more than half pay off the entire balance every month.
The survey was conducted on Bankrate.com’s behalf by Princeton Survey Research Associates, which did landline and cellphone interviews in English and Spanish with 1,161 U.S. adults from July 31 to Aug. 10. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.