Upon reaching the legal age of 18, you will have access to many privileges of adulthood, one of them getting a credit card. If you’re under 21 though, you need to be earning your own income in order to be considered at all. Getting your first credit card can be rewarding but challenging. Here are a few tips to help you out in your first credit card quest.
Student credit card
If you are enrolled in college, you have a very good chance of being approved for a credit card. In fact, credit card companies are more than willing to give you one, and you’ll even find many offers. However, you have to keep an eye out on high APR’s and annual fees, as student credit cards are known to have awful deals. If you’re seeking a credit card as a student, make sure you only get one card and try to get the best possible deal.
Department store or gas credit card
Gas companies and department stores typically have easy credit card approvals, which can simplify getting your first credit card. However, they tend to have higher interest rates and you can only use them on that specific store and gas station. They encourage you to spend more by offering discounts but they tend to limit what you can purchase.
Apply with the bank of your savings or checking account
It would be a good initial step if you’ve already started a savings or checking account since you already have an existing relationship with the bank, which significantly improves your chances of getting approved. Go to your bank and inquire about getting your first credit card with them. Remember that a face-to-face transaction might be more beneficial than if you applied online.
Get a secured credit card
A secured credit card can be your best and only alternative if getting a standard credit card becomes impossible because of lack of credit history. With this type of credit card, you need to secure a deposit against the card’s credit limit, which the bank holds in case you default on your payments. Many card issuers however will turn a secured credit card to an unsecured one after you’ve paid your bills on time consistently. You don’t have to worry about it affecting your chances of getting other credit cards, because it will not be shown on your credit report that the card you have is a secured one.
Apply for cards specifically for moderate or limited credit
As a new credit card user, there’s no use applying for credit cards that require excellent credit ratings because you’re most likely going to be denied. If you only have a fair credit score, or limited credit history, you can search for credit card companies that accept people with moderate or limited credit. You can find credit card reviews in the internet which include the type of credit history you need before getting approved for a specific card.