Getting a Credit Card for the First Time

Owning a credit card is also one of the best ways to establish credit and increase your credit score (assuming you use it responsibly). However, it’s much simpler to get approved for credit cards if you’ve already had one before.

Who Qualifies for a Credit Card?

People with a long history of consistent, timely payments qualify for top cards. Younger people with poor credit scores or who don’t have established credit can often still get credit cards, but the options are more limited.

What is a Starter Credit Card?

Starter credit cards are designed for people who need to establish credit. These cards might be secured or unsecured (more information on this later), like a student credit card and usually don’t have the best terms. They often have low limits and high interest rates.

What Does Having  “No Credit” Mean?

Everyone has to start somewhere. That means you initially have no credit but eventually take specific actions like opening a credit account, loan or credit card, which the major credit bureaus deem essential for building creditworthiness—and, by extension, establishing credit for yourself.

What Do You Need to Apply for a Credit Card?

- Identifying information.  This includes a Social Security number or an individual taxpayer identification number (though some cards don’t require you to have this as you might be an international student applying for a card).

What Do You Need to Apply for a Credit Card?

- Income sources or financial resources.  This money can be earned or owned by yourself, but it can also be money you have a reasonable expectation of access for repaying the debts incurred on the card. This means you can have money from a third-party source count as income, such as if you have a spouse who works or has funds and you don’t work yourself.

What Do You Need to Apply for a Credit Card?

- Monthly cost-of-living information.  This includes costs like rent or housing payments.

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