Closings and delays

Millennials cautious about credit cards

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- A lot of people grew up in a world of buy now, pay later, but it appears to be catching up with some families.

It’s estimated the average household credit card debt for a U.S. family is $15,000.

Millennials are taking notice and don’t want to end up in the same situation.

They’re paying with plastic, but not the way their parents did.

For a generation that’s already dealing with student loan debt in the trillions, millennials appear to be becoming more cautious about credit.

“This generation, they do not want to get in debt. They’ve seen their parents get in debt with them,” said Leatrice Caldwell, a financial services officer for State Employees’ Credit Union.

Caldwell helps teach a financial literacy program developed by SECU called The Reality of Money. It’s taught in Guilford County Schools as a way for students to understand what it’s like to follow a budget and pay bills.

Caldwell says that she has seen the shift where young people are hesitant about credit cards in terms of using them for regular purchases, but are still interested in them as a way to build credit.

If someone is not comfortable with a traditional credit card, a secured loan or a secured credit card are other options for building credit.

“That way you’re not actually borrowing money from a bank. You actually have your funds on a credit card, so when you use that card you’re paying back yourself. That actually does report to your credit,” Caldwell said.

For those who are interested in credit cards for building credit, financial officers suggest getting a card with a small limit and not exceeding it.