more teens dealing with debt - ages 15-18 - ages & stages debt among 18-24 year olds has risen 104 percent since 1992, and this age group spends almost 30 percent of its income on debt payments, according to a recent study by demos, titled generation brok. Much of the problem with teens and credit cards stems from a lack of understanding of how they work. Many teens know they must make a minimum payment each month, but they often dont realize how much they pay in interest by only paying the minimum due. Teens under 18 years-old cannot apply for a credit card without a parents co-signature, but according to school loan provider, nellie mae more than 54 percent of college freshmen carry a credit card. Myth make sure your teenager gets a credit card so he or she will learn to be responsible with money. Truth getting a credit card for your teenager is an excellent way to teach him or her to be financially irresponsible. Thats why teens are now the number-one target of credit card companies. More people between the ages of 20 to 24 years declare bankruptcy than graduate from college, a fact that has a lot to do with credit card debt. but the needle seems to be shifting on how much debt an economy can safely carry.