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Your First Credit Card

Aug 17, 2007
If you have never been in debt before or you are young, then getting a credit card can be hard. Strangely, lenders trust people who have been in debt and paid it back more than people who have never had any debt. Although it may seem hard to get a card if you have not gotten one before, there are some ways to get a credit card. If you are unsure about how to go about getting your first credit card, then this article might be able to help you.

Check your credit report

The first thing you need to do is to check a copy of your credit report. This will tell you if you have any problems with credit, and if there are any errors you can clear them up. If your credit rating is good then you should have no problem getting a card.

Apply to your bank

Once you have established that your credit rating is good, then you should apply for your card. The first place you should start is with your bank. If you have a full-time job and have had no credit problems, then you bank is likely to give you a card with a low limit of probably a few hundred pounds. Now that you have a card you can use it and if you pay your bills on time then slowly your credit limit will get better.

Store cards

If your bank will not give you a credit card, you can improve your credit by getting a store card. Although these cards have very high rates, if you spend a little on them and pay it back then you credit will quickly improve.

Don't over apply

One thing that you should avoid is applying for lots of cards at once. If you do this then the credit process will be started for each and your credit rating will be further weakened. Applying for lots of cards makes you look financially unstable and will harm your chances of getting one good card.

Beware of 'unbeatable' offers

If you are applying for a card you might feel the best option is to take one of the 'amazing' deals you get in the post every day. These deals offer you really low interest rates and tell you that you have been pre-approved already. All they mean by this is that you are pre-approved to apply, but you can still be turned down and even if you aren't you are unlikely to get the rates they quote. If you are going to pay your balance each month then the interest rates at first do not matter. Apply to a company you know and trust and that will be fair when you want to renegotiate terms.

Secured cards

One of the best ways to get your first card is to get a secured credit card. This involves you paying a money deposit that is frozen whilst you have the card. This reduces the risk for the lender, and if you show that you can pay your bills then you can get upgraded to an unsecured card quickly.

Never pay fees

One thing you should avoid when getting your first card is to actually pay for it. Although secured cards require a deposit, there are other companies that charge myriad fees before you get hold of the card. If this is the case you may find just the fees eat half of your balance up, which almost defeats the point of getting the card. Even if you are getting a card for the first time you should not have to pay for the privilege.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for creditcards-gb.co.uk.
For additional articles and an extensive resource for everything about credit cards, please visit us at Cashback Credit Cards and Credit Cards
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