When and How to Apply for your First Credit Card

Getting the first credit card is tricky because you cannot build credit without credit. Where should you start? Nowadays you need credit for almost everything from renting an apartment to purchasing a cell phone.

Fortunately, the best time to build your credit is when you are still in school. Here are some important facts that you should know before applying for your first credit card:

Get a student credit card

Credit scores are usually made up of several factors, including your credit history. If you have no credit history, you might also lack a credit score because credit bureaus do not have any means of determining your ability to pay bills on time or repay loans. However, the easiest way to build your credit is by applying for and using a credit card responsibly.

Find the best credit card

You should remember that not all cards are the same. Each one comes with different features, rates, fees, and benefits. If you think you can repay your balance in full every month, consider maximizing your rewards by applying for a student rewards card.

With some rewards cards, you can earn your cashback on every purchase. However, you should remember that rewards caps as well as other exclusions exist. Will you carry a balance? If you think that you will, you should look for a low-interest credit card.

Several student credit cards have a 0-percent APR introductory offer that lasts six to eight months. This card will allow you to pay for large purchases over time while avoiding interest rates. Just research all your options to find a card that offers low rates of interest, cash rewards, no annual fee, and a reasonable credit limit.

When applying for a card, be sure to pay attention to the billing cycles if you hope to avoid extra fees. Some students credit cards also offer online tools that can help you to manage and track your spending. To get the best card for you, make sure that you compare student credit card reviews online.

Getting approved for a credit card

You must be at least eighteen years old to apply for a credit card. Are you under the age of 21? If you want to apply for a credit card, you must prove that you have independent assets or income to show that you can repay your debt. If you fail to get approval, you can also become an authorized user on your parent’s account.

Do you have a part-time or fulltime job? You might have enough income to be approved for your own credit card. However, you have to pay the credit card bill on a monthly basis.

Authorized credit card user

Are you an authorized user on another person’s account? You should enjoy the benefits of using it without the responsibility of having to pay back the balance. If your credit history is insufficient, you can build your credit by becoming an authorized user because your account use might be reported.

However, you should ensure that the account owner keeps up with his payments since any negative reporting will appear on your report.

Secured credit card

If you do not qualify for a traditional credit card, you should consider applying for a secured credit card. This card can help you to build your credit history enough so that you can qualify for a traditional credit card. To get a secured credit card, you need to put down a deposit.

When you put down a deposit, the card works like a traditional credit card. However, unlike prepaid credit or debit cards, you can build credit.