It can be difficult to get your first credit card if you do not have an established credit history. You might wonder how you can establish credit if no creditor is willing to give you credit in the first place. There are some methods you can do to get your first credit card and start building your credit history.
Get a secured credit card. A secured credit card is secured with your cash (also known as as security deposit) in a savings account. You are unable to touch this deposit under any circumstances unless you’ve decided to close out your card. The savings account may also earn you some interest while the credit card remains active. The deposit amount may set your secured credit card’s limit as well. Many banks and credit unions offer secured credit cards. Reach out to your bank or credit union and inquire about their secured credit cards.
With a secured credit card, the lender will report the card as a tradeline in your credit report. Your repayment history will be reported on your credit file and will eventually help you get a credit score. Once you’ve establish a good repayment history and score, you may become eligible to apply for an unsecured credit card.
Get added as an authorized user on a credit card. If you have a family or friend who is willing to add you as an authorized user on a credit card. As an authorized user you are able to use the card but not responsible for the payments. Although payments are the responsibility of the card owner, you benefit from the shared credit information as repayment history will be reported on an authorized users credit file too. This can help you establish credit and get a credit score. After a few months, you may be able to apply for your own credit card.
Get a joint signer on credit card. Another way to get approved for a credit card is to be a joint applicant or have a cosigner. If the joint owner or cosigner has sufficient credit history the chances of getting a credit card is much higher. As a joint owner of a credit card, both you and your cosigner are responsible for repayment of the debt.
Get a department store card. For new borrowers, getting approved for a department store card may be easier. Although these cards tend to only work for that specific department and may carry higher interest rates, it can help you establish credit. After six months of smart credit usage (you do not need to carry a balance from month-to-month to generate a score), you can apply for a credit card.