A credit card allows you to borrow money from a credit card company, with the agreement you will pay a percentage of interest on the average daily balance at the end of each billing cycle. A debit card pulls money directly from an associated bank account. Responsible credit card use helps build your credit history. Generally, debit cards can not do that.
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There are plenty of options on the market for people with limited credit history. Consider a secured* credit card from Citizens Bank.
*Security deposit required. Limits apply.
There is no "right" number of credit accounts to build a solid credit history. When you are starting out with credit, it can be safer to begin with one or two cards to ensure your an make payments consistently before adding more.
18 is typically the minimum age to apply independently for a credit card in the United States.
One simple rule: pay your bill in full and on time every month. Late fees can impact your pocketbook, and late or missed payments can also have a negative effect on your credit score.