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Guide To Getting Your First Credit Card

Aug 17, 2007
Stepping into the adult world presents a lot of new issues you may never have considered before. Among these new problems is how to establish credit. So many people find themselves ready to leave their parents' home to get a home or apartment of their own only to find out that they can't get certain things like a place to live and the utilities that go with it because they don't have sufficient credit.

Sometimes having no credit can be worse than having bad credit. When you are trying to get a loan for a car or a house your future creditors want to make sure you can pay the loan back. They have no records to look at to tell them if you will do this or not. It might sound like a Catch 22, but you will have to start by getting a credit card and making a few purchases.

When deciding which credit card to start with, you should sit down and evaluate some things about yourself. For instance, are you someone who procrastinates? Do you have steady income that will allow you to pay the bills? Why do you want a credit card in the first place? It is very important to be honest with yourself when you answer these questions because it is easy to get into a hole that you can't crawl out from.

Even if you feel like you are the most irresponsible person on earth, but you still want a credit card, a good one to get is the American Express green card. The Amex card has to be paid off every month, and you may be willing to spend less if you know that there is not going to be a minimum balance.

Trying to find the right credit card for you can be a confusing process. You have to take into consideration the APR, annual fees and a multitude of hidden charges. The best place to start is with the APR and compare those. Many people gloss over the fine print because at first glance it seems like a nuisance to wade through. Try to read it anyway.

No doubt you will find that there is information in there that will save you money in the long run. Credit companies don't want to hear "I didn't know", not when they can point back to the small print and tell you it was right there when you signed your name to the agreement.

When you use your first credit card there are some rules that you should follow. You should always shred your receipts, and also shred any credit card offers that you are not considering. Do not ever give your credit card number over the phone unless you are the one who initiated the phone call to the company that you are ordering things from, or trying to get a bill paid.

Keep the customer service numbers of all of your credit cards in a safe place. Sometimes companies will send you a new card and it will get lost in the mail, an automated system will ask for your information before it will let you proceed, however, if you don't have a customer service number, you will have to wait until your next bill comes in. You would think that calling the store would help, but incompetence runs rampant in all parts of the world.

When you do finally get your new credit card remember that it is not free money. Everything you spend you will have to pay back. It is all too easy to fall into spending carelessly and getting yourself into trouble when the bills come due. Know your limits and what you are capable of and use your card wisely.
About the Author
Mike Selvon is the owner of various niche portals. Our credit repair portal is a great resource for more information on getting your first credit card. While you are there don't forget to claim your free gift.
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