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Ask Creditnet: Must My Son Relinquish His Credit Card?

Dear Creditnet: My son has had his own credit card since his 18th birthday. He is a now a 20-year-old college student, has never carried a balance, and uses his credit sparingly. We taught him well. Under the new credit card laws, will he be required to relinquish his credit card because he will not be 21 until 2011?

Answer: It's always nice to find a parent that actually understands the value in teaching their children how to responsibly manage credit from a young age.

Unfortunately, parents like you are few and far between. Believe me, your son has an enormous head start on most of his college-age peers. 

Now, back to your question; since your son already has the credit card in his name, he will not be required to give it up. While the Credit CARD Act of 2009 does regulate the marketing and issuance of credit cards to consumers under 21, the new rules only apply to new credit offers. If your son were to apply for a new credit card, even if it were from the same credit issuer, he would need you to cosign unless he could prove he has sufficient income to support the use of the credit card.

However, as long as he holds onto his current card without giving his credit issuer any reason to close it on him, he shouldn't run into any problems before his 21st birthday. Thanks again for your question, and we hope to see you back at Creditnet.com again in the future!

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Joshua Heckathorn's picture

Joshua Heckathorn was President of Creditnet, is a credit expert and has been featured on CNNMoney, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, The Street, and many other national publications during the past ten years.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Management (Finance) from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business and earned his MBA from Seattle University.

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