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Younger people have trouble getting credit

By Jen Haley, producer


NEW YORK (CNN) -- Getting credit? Not easy in this market. But it's even more difficult if you're between the ages of 22 and 34 according to a new survey.

More than one in five people between ages 18 and 34 have been refused in the last year for a credit card or other loan, like a mortgage or student loan according to a survey just released by FindLaw.com, a consumer legal Web site.

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This age group is more than twice as likely to be turned down for a loan as any other age group. Most of the rejections are for credit cards, but people were also turned down for mortgages, home equity loans, car loans and student loans.

It's really a whole new ball game -- especially for students. "It used to be if you were a student and had a heartbeat, you could get a card. that's not the case anymore," says Curtis Arnold of Cardratings.com.

1. New rules

New credit card regulations went into effect last month required that students under 21 years old have to have a co-signer, a parent or another adult over 21. If you don't want mom or dad co-signing your card, you'll have to show evidence that you can pay your bills each month, like copies of some recent pay stubs. And no more pre-screened credit card offers will appear in your mailbox if you're younger than 21 -- unless you ask for them.

2. Secured credit cards

Look for what's called a secured card.

Here's how it works: you deposit money into a special savings account, and draw off of that amount with the credit card. The amount you deposit is your credit limit. Once you've made on time payments for 18 months, your credit record should be solid enough to get a regular credit card.

If you don't have enough money to back up the secured card, another idea is to get added to another person's credit card as an authorized user. You can actually build up your credit if the main account holder has good credit and pays his or her bills on time.

3. Finding a card that's right for you

Check out cardratings.com for a list of secured credit cards.

When choosing a secured credit card, make sure you don't pay more than $35 in annual fees, says Arnold. You should be able to find a card that has annual fees of $20 - $25. Here are some of his picks: Citi Secured MasterCard and Orchard Bank Secured MasterCard.

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