Twenty-seven-year-old Omaha, Nebraska, resident Erin Duffy has never had — or even wanted — a credit card.
"I’ve been able to get along without it," she says, attributing the choice to ambivalence and a wariness of plastic her parents fostered in her during her formative years. "I’ve liked being able to pay for things as I go, not having to worry about missing a bill."
Duffy’s decision to live without credit cards is more common than you may think. A whopping 63 percent of millennials (ages 18 to 29) don’t have a credit card, according to a survey commissioned by Bankrate and compiled by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.
Comparatively, only 35 percent of adults 30 and over don’t have credit cards.
There are, admittedly, external factors influencing the statistics. An April 2014 Gallup poll found Americans’ reliance on credit cards, in general, has declined steadily since the Great Recession. Moreover, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, or CARD Act, made it harder for anyone under 21 to get a credit card.
There’s also a more straightforward reason why a majority of millennials aren’t carrying the payment method: Many, like Duffy, just don’t want credit cards.
"I don’t really feel like there’s a need for one in the way I live my life," says Melissa Pileiro, a 24-year-old resident of Vineland, New Jersey. "The idea with a credit card is you’re essentially putting money down that you don’t have."
Like many members of her demographic, Pileiro is perfectly content with her debit card, a payment method whose existence has eaten into the credit card’s market share.
Millennials “grew up in a world where the economy was tanking,” says David Pommerehn, senior counsel with the Consumer Bankers Association. “There was great concern about jobs and debts and paying off bills.”
At the same time, college costs — and subsequently student loans — have ballooned. According to the Project for Student Debt, student debt increased an average of 6 percent each year from 2008 to 2012, with college graduates from 2012 having an average student loan debt of $29,400.
I’ve never had a credit card cuz I dont want to add on to my $36,000 student loan debt
I mean I have a credit card, but my Rule is to never put money on it unless I HAVE that money, and ALWAYS pay it off the second I get the bill
Essentially, I treat it more like a time-release debit card.
Pretty much, yeah. Even if the interest in the bank is tiny, that’s still an extra handful of change for that time between paying with the card and paying off the card. Also, cash back cards means a small discount back every month.
If you take care never to charge more than you can pay off right at that moment and never carry a balance, charge cards can be very handy things that can add a few dollars to your cash flow.
The problem is when you carry a balance, do cash advances, or anything else that charges interest or fees. Long as you avoid that? There’s no debt added by using a card.
You also aren’t boned if you get a screwed up charge on your credit card like you are with a debit card. Debit, you have to wait to get that money back. Credit, you have a shorter wait to get them to remove the charge and normally, it’s only a few days.
^ yes, the security thing is huge for me! I’ve had my credit card compromised SEVERAL times, twice with charges that would have DESTROYED my bank account & incurred massive overdraft fees had it been a debit card… But because it was credit, the fraudulent charges never touched my actual money, & it usually only took the company 2 days to wipe the charges from my account & rush ship me a new card w a different number.
Oh my god everyone GET A GODDAMN CREDIT CARD WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU.
Pay your balance off every time in full before its due, obviously. Then, COLLECT THOSE REWARDS POINTS or airline miles or whatever makes sense for your life. My credit card gives ThankYou Points which can be redeemed for things like $1000 student loan voucher (I’m almost there!)
More importantly, you need a credit card to build your credit score, and you need a good credit score to get things like car loans and some apartment leases! You cannot and should not always rely on your parents to cosign because there will come a time, if it has not already arrived, that they will not be an option, and then you will be boned.
I have a great credit score in part because my lovely parents issued me a card on one of their accounts (for use in emergencies), which means that I’m on record as having an account that’s been open for longer than I’ve been alive. Also, I’ve had one of my own, that I use all the time, since I was 18. The longer you have an account, the better your credit. So do it! DO IT NOW!
Man, this really hits some of my most niche interests.
How did I get on this mailing list? Is this what 27 has in store for me?
You guys, I don’t even make $15/hr and I am about to have a master’s degree.
Has anyone else noticed that in the largely female horror/monster artist community on DA and tumblr (myself included) tends to focus a LOT on teeth,…
DID SOMEONE SAY ALIEN?
Oh hello there. Did you know that Alien is written to incite the fear of rape in men? And that is why the titular Alien orally rapes its victims to lay eggs down their throats, where they must then endure a gruesome pregnancy and more gruesome birth that ends in their demise? That’s also why they were like, oh let’s get H. R. Giger a.k.a. Mr Penises and Vaginas everywhere to design basically everything in this film. (<3 u Giger.) Don’t believe me? Ask the screenwriter, Mr. Dan O’Bannon:
One thing that people are all disturbed about is sex… I said ‘That’s how I’m going to attack the audience; I’m going to attack them sexually. And I’m not going to go after the women in the audience, I’m going to attack the men. I am going to put in every image I can think of to make the men in the audience cross their legs. Homosexual oral rape, birth. The thing lays its eggs down your throat, the whole number.’
(<3 u O’Bannon.)
That, combined with basically the ass-kickingest lady hero (<3 u Ripley), is why I love Alien. For more on the Alien-is-about-rape thing, check out this Cracked article. For more on how, in Aliens, Ripley has to leave her cat behind because it represents her maidenhood, so that when she meets Newt she can fully embrace the role of a mother in order to meet the Alien Queen on her own terms, see me, at any opportunity.
You know what irritates me almost as much as anti-vaccers?
AH BUP BUP, SHH. GO AWAY IF YOU HAVE A WELL ACTUALLY , Because well actually yourself. Here’s why.
We have been genetically modifying our food since the day we emerged from our huts and realized…
I would be 50 Shades of Unsurprised if Big Agra wasn’t a little in favor of the anti-GMO movement, because it takes the focus off corrupt business practices and planet-harming monocultures and puts it on an easily-marketed evil-sounding acronym that’s just complicated enough to be misunderstood by the masses. It’s not like Monsanto doesn’t have the resources to work around the labels.
Just go to a goddamn farmer’s market and stop worrying about whether your hyperprocessed Snapea Crisps* or whatever have a little extra science in them.
*I love these but come on, they are organic Cheetos.