Millennials and Credit Cards Interview with KXNT Radio Las Vegas

By Media Relations Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Thursday, April 16, 2015, with Carlos Diaz and Dayna Roselli of KXNT Radio Las Vegas about the results of the April 2015 Millennials and Credit Cards survey. The interview and transcript are below.


Carlos Diaz: Everyone wants money. 7:20, Carlos and Dayna, and we’re talking about credit cards.

Dayna Roselli: That’s right. More than one in three 18 to 29 year olds, get this, have never had a credit card. This is according to a new report. Now most Americans think people should have a credit card by age 22. Let’s dig into this. We’ve got Matt Schulz from, Senior Analyst on the KXNT hotline. Good morning.

Matt Schulz: Good morning.

Roselli: Well, I was trying to think when I had my first credit card and I want to say it was in college. I signed up for a Discover card because they were pushing credit card sign-ups in the campus center.

Diaz: Hmm, they got you hooked early.

Roselli: They got me hooked early.

Schulz: I think that’s a very typical experience. I know that when I was in college, every kid in my dorm, their mailbox was filled up with credit card offers and you couldn’t walk a hundred yards on campus without someone offering a Frisbee or a t-shirt to sign-up for a card. Those days are pretty much gone, and that’s a good thing.

Diaz: Yeah, I got my first credit card in my senior year in college, and I maxed it out about a week later. So that usually is the case. But your new stats are kind of alarming as far as millennials not having credit cards.

Schulz: And it’s understandable to a degree because the new regulations have said that for someone under 21 to get a credit card, they have to provide proof of income or get a cosigner. So it’s harder for those folks to get a card. Then you add in the fact that these folks have come to age during the Great Recession and the horrible job market that they and their friends have faced and it’s understandable that they would go more towards debit cards and prepaid cards and away from credit.

Roselli: It does seem like if I could have start out financially without getting a credit card, I probably would’ve been better off. I mean, it was useful because there was a time even after graduating college where you didn’t make much and when you went to Walmart just to stock up on stuff, you had to use your credit card. But boy, if I never had one, I would’ve never had to pay it off 10 years later.

Schulz: Well, it is a useful thing and when you’re getting started, like you said, some people need it to just get by. And it also does help you in the long run. It helps you build your credit, especially if you make payments, but you’re right — it can be really, really dangerous if you can’t pay it off over time.

Diaz: What did you find with Hispanics and credit cards?

Schulz: That was particularly interesting. We saw that of all the different groups, they’re the most likely to favor credit cards for people who are under 21. And it’s interesting because most of the data that we’ve seen has shown that Hispanics are really credit savvy and most likely to use things like mobile payments and most likely to have these new EMV smart chip cards.

Roselli: That’s really interesting. So what age do you recommend, as an employee of, that we should get a credit card?

Schulz: I tend to agree with what the folks said in the survey, that 21-22 is pretty good. Because that’s generally a time where you’re kind of transitioning into the real world. You can buy yourself a beer, you’re probably graduating from college, if you go, and starting that new career. And a credit card can be a good thing to kind of help you purchase new clothes for your job, but also to kind of help you get by. And to also build credit.

Diaz: And one final thing. What I found interesting was, being from Indiana and knowing a lot of guys who live on farms, what’s the comparison of people who live in the country as opposed to people who live in big cities and suburbs?

Schulz: There’s a very different view. About three-quarters of city folks say that somebody should get their first credit card before they turn 25. But fewer than half of rural residents say that. And that just could be as simple as lifestyle differences where, here in the city you might need a credit card to get a cab or buy a subway ticket, but cash might be still king in more rural areas.

Diaz: I can guarantee you that, yep. Out on the farm, you got to have that cash. Thank you so much.

Roselli: Thanks Matt.

Schulz: Of course.

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