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Getting Your Credit Card When You Have Little Or No Credit History

Aug 17, 2007
We always think that those that have abused their credit or have bad credit for other reasons will have trouble getting a credit card. However, if you have very little or no credit, be prepared for similar problems. I know, I know, not fair. But that's the way this credit card stuff works so now at least you know. Credit card companies are very suspicious of those with little or no credit because they don't have much to go on when making a decision on whether or not they can trust you.

So is this like some kind of oxy moron, like jumbo shrimp? You mean I can't get credit without credit history and can't get credit history without credit? Now what? I know what you're thinking; I can't get a hotel room or even rent a car without a credit card, so this is frustrating. Let's see if I can't help you out here.

Potential Credit Options

Many people never think to try this, but it can be quite effective in getting started building credit history. Often, department stores will give you a credit card where a normal credit card company will not. If you look around and call around a little bit, you'll find one that will accept your application. Boom! You can now start building a credit history and a regular credit card will not be far off into the future. Be sure to use the card and make timely payments, or it will just hurt you more than having no credit at all. Good credit history is the goal, not just getting the dang thing in the first place.

You want a company that will consider your total situation and not just your credit history, or lack thereof. Often times lenders will consider whether you rent or own, your employment status, and how many times or how often you move from place to place. If things look pretty good, approval of your application is going to be more likely. Just use the card properly.

Don't Forget Credit Unions

Are you a member of a credit union? If not, check and see if you are possibly eligible for membership in one. You can check with them to see what you need to get a credit card issued to you. Credit unions sometimes have more flexible options in issuing credit cards to their membership. It can be worth the extra effort on your part in checking with these companies to get the card you're looking for.

What About Secured Credit Cards?

Another option you probably think you aren't intersted in is a secured credit card. This card basically gives you an available limit that is the same as or sometimes slightly more than a deposit you leave with them that they hold onto. The longer you have the card and use it responsibly the higher they may raise your limit without a further deposit. Doing this builds credit history and will allow you to apply to regular credit card offers.

Thought About A Student Credit Card?

Are you a hard studying student? You will want to consider a student credit card if this is you. This is an excellent way to build credit history that you'll need once you enter the real world after all your schooling is finished. Once again, be sure to use it correctly. A lot of companies will give you a student credit card; check with the banks in your town where your school is.

Now don't forget that once you get the credit card you wanted you must be intelligent in its use to build your credit history in a positive way. You want future lenders to see you as reliable and someone who pays their bills when they said they would.
About the Author
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