How to build credit for teens

Get your teen off to a good start with their own savings, secured credit card and more.

Teen and man checking out at a store.

Even before they're old enough to get a credit card or apply for a loan, teenagers can get a head start on developing a strong credit historyHere's how to help your teen get started.

Encourage your teenager to get a job

Your teen will be more invested in managing his or her money if it's hard-earned. And holding down a job reflects favorably on your teen's responsibility.

Open checking and savings accounts

Responsibly managing and maintaining these basic accounts will show a financial institution that your teen can handle money. If the account comes with a debit card, your teen will get a feel for using a card for transactions.

Consider putting one of your household bills in your teen's name

Encouraging your teen to pay the bill teaches responsibility. Even if you're helping to supplement the payment, having the bill in your teen's name establishes a payment record. You also can add your teen as an authorized user on your credit card. Your teen receives a card in his or her name, and any purchases go on your account, which allows you to closely monitor spending habits. And, purchases and payments made under your teen's name will be recognized on his or her credit report.

Obtain a secured credit card

These cards can be put in your teen's name. Make the initial deposit together, which is the credit limit for the account. Then he or she uses the card to demonstrate expenses can be handled and payments made on time.

Monitor your teen's activities as he or she gets into the credit habit, allowing more flexibility as responsibility is demonstrated. Once several months of purchases and payments are under your teen's belt, access his or her credit report and review it together to make sure everything is correct.

Learn more teen money management tips.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.
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