horizontal separator

First Credit Card: How to Get Credit

Getting a first credit card can seem challenging, but it can be a step towards financial independence. Learning how to get your first credit card may help as you begin to build your credit history. Once you obtain at least one form of credit, obtaining additional loans, credit cards and mortgages down the road may be easier.

How to get a credit card

Before you apply for a credit card, stop to consider what factors the creditor may look at when deciding whether to extend credit to you.. Though previous experience (i.e., an existing credit history) is often a factor, a creditor may extend to someone without a credit history if the person meets additional additional qualifications such as:

  • Steady employment with verifiable income
  • References or a cosigner on the account
  • Any security you have to use as collateral
  • How much you earn
  • The number of inquiries on your credit report

Secured cards and department store credit cards

Sometimes, the easiest way to obtain a first credit card offer is to apply for a secured credit card or a department store credit card. Though these often have high interest rates, they may have lending requirements that are more flexible. Although the credit limit may be low, using it wisely over a period of time can help you to establish a credit score.The better that history is, the more likely creditors are to offer you new lines of credit with better interest rates, rewards and introductory offers.

First Credit Card and Establishing Credit

The higher that score is, the more likely lenders are to offer you new lines of credit with better interest rates, rewards and introductory offers.

Using your initial line of credit

Once you have one line of credit, such as a credit card, you can then use it to help you build your credit history over time. To do so, consider the following:

  • Make all payments on the loan on time or ahead of time
  • Keep the balance on all credit cards as low as possible.
  • Do not apply for numerous loans or credit cards at one time
  • Avoid over the limit charges, late fees and nonpayment
  • Give it time to build

Establishing a credit history for the first time, can be a challenge at first. However, by making wise decisions at the start and managing your credit wisely over time, the challenge will be worth it.

Now that you know more about how to get credit, get your Credit Report and Score.
Credit Cards Q&A
Why Closing Credit Card Accounts Won't Help Your Credit
How Credit Cards Can Help You Save Money and Pay Down Debt

This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. You should always seek the advice of a legal or financial professional before making legal or financial decisions.

vertical separator
Wait - what about my credit? I want my TransUnion Reports & Score. Order Now
separator image