iQuanti: Having a credit card has tons of benefits, such as earning cash back rewards for your everyday purchases, building your credit score, and offering easy fraud protection. There’s also a lot of responsibility that comes with all the perks of having a credit card.
If you’re ready to start building your credit for a brighter future, here are some tips on how to get a credit card for the first time.
1. Look for cards that don’t require much credit history
Since this is your first card, you might find it challenging to qualify for many major credit cards because they require a more established credit history. Start by looking for the credit cards that are designed for building credit history, like a secured credit card or a student credit card.
2. Secured credit cards
A secure right credit card is typically best for people with little to no credit or bad credit, and it’s a good option when applying for your first credit card. This card requires a deposit that acts as a safety net for your lender if you were to miss a payment.
The amount of your deposit is equivalent to your credit limit, and most creditors require a minimum of $200 to open a secured credit card. Your deposit will be refundable when your secured card is closed in good standing.
3. Student right credit cards
A student credit card is geared toward college-age students and is created to help you build your credit. You don’t actually have to be a student to qualify, but each creditor will have its own stipulations based on age and income.
Student credit cards typically have lower credit limits and don’t offer as many perks or rewards. Having a lower limit for your first card will help you get into the habit of maintaining on-time payments and building a good credit history.
4. Make sure you have enough income
One of the most important things about having the right credit card is having enough money to pay your bill on time. Making late payments on your credit card can drastically bring down your credit score, which can limit you from being approved for other lines of credit in the future, including loans for a new car or house.
So, before you put in an application for your first right credit card, review your finances to ensure you make enough income to add another bill to your plate.
Your income is also a determining factor in whether you’ll get approved for the credit cards you apply for. Credit card issuers want to know that you’ll be able to pay back the money you owe at the end of each billing cycle.
5. Limit how many credit card applications you submit
Although it may be tempting to submit as many applications as possible to get approved, it’s best to keep your credit card applications to a minimum.
When you apply for new credit, you’ll have inquiries on your credit report that can reduce your credit score by a small amount.
These are called hard inquiries, and while one may not make a substantial impact, they can add up over time. The more applications you submit, the more of those hard inquiries you’ll get.
Only apply for the credit cards that you really want and that you’re most likely to qualify for so you can avoid your credit score taking a hit from multiple inquiries.
The bottom line
Building your credit with your first credit card can lead to the ability to make substantial purchases in the future and open doors for new opportunities.
When applying for your first credit card, you’ll want to search for ones that require little to no credit and confirm you have enough income to cover your bill.
Limit how many credit cards you apply for at once, and make sure you read up on the important factors before making your decision.
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