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Credit advice for a young chap/small timer

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ok guys, I am thinking I need to start establishing credit (I'm 19), as I wish to someday own property, maybe start a small business, etc. How do I overcome the catch-22 of needing a credit card to establish credit, but not being able to obtain a credit card without sufficient credit history? Is there any cards that require no credit history? I have a primarily online bank account (USAA) if that makes a difference.
post #2 of 13
Assuming you're in the US, correct? You can someone to cosign it or banks will take a collateral of sorts, say 500 bucks for a card with 500 limit.

It was years ago but i had to something like that and I think I had to open an account with the bank, put the 500 in before they gave me the card (with that limit). Kept it for six months maybe before they let me have it back

Just drop by a branch and ask - banks are more eager to get you in that you know smile.gif

But then once you get credit - be careful because the interest rates on the credit cards are murder. Pay them off monthly or at most within two-three months for bigger items and if you don't think you can, don't buy stuff....
post #3 of 13
My first card was a USAA card that my mom co-signed for me. However, I'm betting USAA has some sort of program that would help young people with establishing credit, even without a co-signer. They're cool like that.
post #4 of 13
There are lists out there of cards that are easier to get with a less established credit history. Something like Credit Karma (free) will even give you recommendations based on your score.

If there's a particular card you'd like you can also apply and, if declined, write a reconsideration letter. I did this for my first card in college -- sent them a simple letter saying that I'd like this to be my first card along with a few pay stubs and bank statements to prove that I had steady income and savings.
post #5 of 13
It's really easy.

Sign up for ANY credit card.

Make sure you pay it off fully, each and every single month. Such an easy concept, yet one millions of Americans fail to grasp.

One small tip: by maintaining a low debt/credit ratio (<30%), your credit score will increase faster (i.e. if you have a credit limit of $1,000, try to charge less than $300 on it each month). You get penalized for having a high debt/credit ratio.
post #6 of 13
you're probably going to need to start with a secured card from capitolone
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
^^Yeah teg, that looks like my best option, seems to be a $29 annual fee for the card which isn't bad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenFrog View Post

It's really easy.

Sign up for ANY credit card.

Make sure you pay it off fully, each and every single month. Such an easy concept, yet one millions of Americans fail to grasp.

One small tip: by maintaining a low debt/credit ratio (<30%), your credit score will increase faster (i.e. if you have a credit limit of $1,000, try to charge less than $300 on it each month). You get penalized for having a high debt/credit ratio.

facepalm.gif I've already applied for some simple cards and was denied for "insufficient credit history" so it's not that easy, I heard that applying to too many cards will hurt your score. Thanks for the sage advice, I had no idea I should not carry debt!!
post #8 of 13
One piece of advice if you do go the Capital One route: They used to be notorious for pushing people to open new cards when they wanted to up their limit. This meant that, as their credit grew/improved, they ended up with a bunch of low-limit cards, rather than one with a big limit. I dealt with it with them when I had a card. I'd call and ask for an increase, and they'd offer me a new card. Eventually, I gave up and closed the account, and now I deal with USAA exclusively. I don't know if this is still Capital One's approach, but just be cognizant that it at least used to be how they did things.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrG View Post

One piece of advice if you do go the Capital One route: They used to be notorious for pushing people to open new cards when they wanted to up their limit. This meant that, as their credit grew/improved, they ended up with a bunch of low-limit cards, rather than one with a big limit. I dealt with it with them when I had a card. I'd call and ask for an increase, and they'd offer me a new card. Eventually, I gave up and closed the account, and now I deal with USAA exclusively. I don't know if this is still Capital One's approach, but just be cognizant that it at least used to be how they did things.

If you have multiple low limit cards you can have them add the credit limit to an existing card when you close it.

@op
As others have stated:
1) get a parent to cosign
2) Pay a nominal amount of money for a secured or partially secured card
3) Keep applying until you get one.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Pun View Post

^^Yeah teg, that looks like my best option, seems to be a $29 annual fee for the card which isn't bad.
facepalm.gif I've already applied for some simple cards and was denied for "insufficient credit history" so it's not that easy, I heard that applying to too many cards will hurt your score. Thanks for the sage advice, I had no idea I should not carry debt!!

facepalm.gif
post #11 of 13
Sign up for the Bank of America student card. In my experience, it's pretty easy to be approved for this.
post #12 of 13
Citi dividend is usually pretty easy to get

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenFrog View Post

It's really easy.
Sign up for ANY credit card.
Make sure you pay it off fully, each and every single month. Such an easy concept, yet one millions of Americans fail to grasp.
One small tip: by maintaining a low debt/credit ratio (<30%), your credit score will increase faster (i.e. if you have a credit limit of $1,000, try to charge less than $300 on it each month). You get penalized for having a high debt/credit ratio.

Yeah my credit score dipped as I was charging way too much. Still paid it off each month but I couldn't raise my credit limit at the time since it hadn't been 6 months / 1 year...
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebichuman View Post

Pay them off monthly or at most within two-three months for bigger items and if you don't think you can, don't buy stuff....

no, pay it off monthly or don't buy stuff
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