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Can a credit card company consider my age when deciding to lend me a card?

Age can't generally be used to make lending decisions, but in most cases, you’re required to be at least 21 to get a credit card.

Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, lenders can’t use age to discriminate against you when making lending decisions. Credit card companies, however, can consider age if:

  • The applicant has the capacity to enter into a binding contract
  • The age of an elderly applicant is used in the applicant’s favor

According to the Truth in Lending Act, credit card companies generally can’t issue credit cards to anyone under 21 years old, unless they can show an independent ability to meet payment obligations or someone over 21 years old co-signs the account, agreeing to be held financially responsible if you’re unable to make your payments.

Learn more about the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and what information credit card issuers are not allowed to consider. If you believe you have been the victim of credit discrimination or that a creditor violated fair lending laws, you can submit a complaint with the CFPB.