Greenlight Revolutionizes Credit with Industry-First Credit Builder for Teens to Build Credit Before Adulthood

Leading 3% cash back credit card, the Greenlight Family Cash Mastercard®, is now available for teens

With the Greenlight Family Cash Card, teens can build credit before 18. (Photo: Business Wire)

ATLANTA--()--Greenlight® Financial Technology, Inc. ("Greenlight"), the fintech company on a mission to help parents raise financially smart kids, today announced a first-of-its-kind credit builder for teens to build credit before 18. Starting today, parents can add teens as authorized users to the Greenlight Family Cash Card, the up to 3% cash back* credit card, to build credit and learn to manage credit responsibly.

Good credit is essential to a healthy financial future, yet there isn’t a secure, easy way to build credit before 18. 84% of teens ages 18 to 19 have zero credit history, making it difficult to start adulthood with financial independence and limiting opportunities to get their first job, car, or home. In a new national survey, Greenlight found that 94% of parents agree credit knowledge and skills are important for their teens’ futures and 80% wish they had better tools and resources to teach teens about credit.**

With the Greenlight Family Cash Card, teens can now start building credit before 18. Teens learn to manage credit responsibly by tracking their balances within the Greenlight app while parents can set flexible spending limits and get real-time purchase alerts. Greenlight’s in-app financial literacy game Level Up™ also includes new credit lessons to empower teens with even more financial knowledge and confidence. Together, families can earn up to 3% cash back* on all teen and parent purchases with the Family Cash Card, helping them save for the future as they spend.

Additional survey results show that parents and teens alike need better credit education to support their financial futures.

Key insights include:

Credit is key to financial wellness, yet many lack credit history.

  • 68% of parents say they have encountered a roadblock for life events, like buying a car or home, due to lack of credit history or poor credit.
  • Similarly, 67% of parents said they did not learn about credit before they were 18 and 83% wish they had more credit education growing up.
  • Parents also believe education would have improved their financial wellness — half (49%) say they would have more financial confidence, 47% say they would be better at budgeting, 38% say they would have avoided credit card debt, and 36% say they would have a better credit score.

Parents want to teach their teens about credit but don’t have the tools or resources they need.

  • 94% of parents agree credit knowledge and skills are important for their teens’ futures.
  • Still, parents are concerned about giving teens a credit card — half (51%) worry teens are too young to use credit responsibly and 28% fear they would overspend.
  • 80% of parents wish they had better tools and resources to teach their teens about credit.
  • Many parents have not discussed credit with their teens — 58% have not discussed credit card interest, 43% have not discussed credit scores, and 41% have not shared the difference between credit and debit.

Teens are stressed about money and want more financial education.

  • Half of teens (49%) say they have experienced financial stress and anxiety.
  • Teens rank personal finance as the #1 adult responsibility they wish they had more education around, and 81% of teens say they want more credit education.
  • 42% of teens do not know what a credit score is.
  • 72% of teens are only somewhat or not at all confident in their credit knowledge and equally unsure they have enough education to live a financially independent life.

At Greenlight, we’re committed to helping families build healthy financial futures, and we know credit is a big part of financial wellbeing,” said Tim Sheehan, co-founder and CEO of Greenlight. “With Greenlight’s new credit builder, teens can easily build credit before they turn 18, setting them up with a strong financial foundation and better opportunities.”

The Greenlight Family Cash Card is available with all Greenlight subscription plans, starting at $4.99 per month. For more information on how to apply for a Family Cash Card and add your teen as an authorized user, please visit:

*Earn 3% when you spend at least $4,000 in a billing cycle, 2% when you spend at least $1,000 but less than $4,000 in a billing cycle, and 1% when you spend <$1,000 in a billing cycle. See the Credit Card Rewards Terms and Conditions for details, including earning, redemption, expiration, or forfeiture.

**Survey insights were collected by Greenlight through a Researchscape survey fielded between March 24-26, 2023, among 1,025 U.S. respondents, split between teens ages 13-18 and parents of 13-18 year olds. Results were weighted by age, gender, and Census region.

About Greenlight

Greenlight Financial Technology is the family fintech company on a mission to help parents raise financially smart kids. Its product, Greenlight, is an award-winning banking app, complete with a debit card for kids and teens, cash back credit card, and safety features for the whole family. Parents can automate allowance, manage chores, set flexible spend controls, and invest for their family’s future. Kids and teens learn to earn, save, spend wisely, give, invest, and manage credit. Together, families can also stay safe and connected with location sharing, SOS alerts, and crash detection with automatic 911 dispatch.

The Greenlight Debit Card is issued by Community Federal Savings Bank, member FDIC, pursuant to license by Mastercard International. The Greenlight Family Cash Card is issued by First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO®), member FDIC, pursuant to license by Mastercard International. Greenlight Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor, provides investment advisory services to its clients. Investing involves risk and may include the loss of principal. Greenlight is a financial technology company, not a bank. The Greenlight app facilitates banking services through Greenlight's bank partners. For more information, please visit:


Jessica Tenny


Jessica Tenny