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If you are here reading this forum/thread, you probably have heard, seen or know someone who has been leveraging credit card points for free or very low cost travel and want to get involved. While it may be very tempting to jump right in and apply for a bunch of credit cards, it is advisable to read through the forums before doing so.

For those who have no credit history, building your credit score is strongly recommended and may even be needed before applying for any credit cards.

Step 1 - Try and get added as an Authorized User (AU) on an established credit card. This card should be kept in good standing and preferably have a low credit utilization ratio.
Some have had success with Amex to get your card backdated to the primary cardholders "member since" date. Having this done will increase your credit history to that of  the account holders first Amex card.
UPDATE Amex no longer backdates any cards. Any authorized user card will show up on the AUs report as a new account, opened on the date that the AU was added. Amex is now one of the worse choices to get added as an AU to, for credit building purposes.
Chase, Citi, Bank of America and others are more likely to show the full history of the primary cardholder on the authorized user's report than Amex is.

Additional Option - In conjunction with being added as an AU, you can  sign up for a secure credit card.
A secured credit card works almost like a debit card (you need to lay out your credit limit), but this functions as a regular credit card and will help build your credit score.

Step 2 - Once you are setup as an AU, it is best to wait a few months before applying for your first card.

Your first card should be a store credit card, which are easier to get approved for, especially with very limited credit history.
Some of the store cards people apply for are Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Kohl's, Macy's, Target etc. While these cards will not give you major signup bonuses to travel with, they do give you access to exclusive promotions and other perks when purchasing from the store.

Additional Options - The CapitalOne Journey card seems to be easier to get approved for, though understand they will pull your credit from all three agencies, while most banks only pull from one.

Discover has a student card you can apply for here. This can also be an easier option to getting approved for your first card. Their regular IT card (not student) seems to be pretty easy to get approved for with little to no credit history as well.

Step 3 - Pay your bill before your statement closes (cut off date), but leave a minimal amount remaining to be paid after your statement closes. This will help ensure that you have both a low CC utilization while establishing a good credit payment history. (This applies to new spending from this month.  Anything already 'due' should be paid in full.)

Step 4 - After using your first card for a few months, you will be ready to apply for the cards you will have read and heard so much about. Remember that getting accepted for a credit card is a combination of many factors like credit history and your credit score, but it is also dependent on the income that you claim* you make.  Income is not part of your credit report or score.

Step 5 - This is a brief synopsis of what to do when applying for credit cards. There are additional factors one should understand before applying for credit cards. DDF is a great resource and there are many people willing to answer your questions (which you should ask, albeit after attempting a search) 

*If you are under 21, you are legally only allowed to report personal income. Personal income, however, can include allowances and scholarships.
If you are over 21, you can claim any income which you have reasonable access to in order to pay back the bill, which includes the income of others in the household (spouse/parent), or anyone supporting you. Additionally, while most banks will not have you verify your income, it does happen and you should be prepared to show them. This is particularly prevalent with American Express, and is known as a Financial Review (FR).
« Last edited by S209 on September 09, 2018, 01:45:26 AM »

Author Topic: Credit Card For Beginners  (Read 490355 times)

Offline Crazy tools

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #45 on: May 06, 2010, 10:43:40 PM »
post back if u get approved, I'm curious to know if they approve even with no history, thanks

Offline Deal Guy

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #46 on: May 06, 2010, 11:23:32 PM »
Let me know if you are turned down for this as well. I may have a solution for you, to at least get something.

Offline jack12

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #47 on: May 07, 2010, 02:28:02 AM »
Why don't you sign up for the citi secure cc? Basically you put $ into a cd and that amount is what your credit limit will be

Offline Deal Guy

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #48 on: May 07, 2010, 02:49:59 AM »
Why don't you sign up for the citi secure cc? Basically you put $ into a cd and that amount is what your credit limit will be

Exactly, that's where I was headed as well, I just was hoping that he would get approved on his own, since it's still pending.

Offline Dan

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #49 on: May 07, 2010, 09:37:17 AM »
Why don't you sign up for the citi secure cc? Basically you put $ into a cd and that amount is what your credit limit will be
And they pay you 5% interest!
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline Crazy tools

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #50 on: May 07, 2010, 09:48:57 AM »
if you do such a thing does it get reported to the credit agency, will it help for a REAL credit card

Offline Dan

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #51 on: May 07, 2010, 09:55:39 AM »
if you do such a thing does it get reported to the credit agency, will it help for a REAL credit card
Yes.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline SuperFlyer

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #52 on: May 07, 2010, 10:28:51 AM »
Kudos for the downunderbochur !!!

1) He understands to praise the people that post (not members that just read, and write when they need)   ;D

2) Instead of opening a new thread, he looked for previous posts on the topic such as gap, etc, only ver few are doing this unfortunately.

3) Same as number 2

4) Same as number 2 and 3

5) etc..

Offline jack12

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #53 on: May 07, 2010, 04:20:17 PM »
Dan - they were giving 4% 2 months ago. Maybe now its up to 5%.

How many months does someone need to wait until a credit starts building for him?

Offline mancunian

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #54 on: May 09, 2010, 12:59:10 PM »
correct me if i'm wrong but i've heard at some point they convert it to a regular cc and give you your $ back.

also, isnt there a way to transfer your credit, if you've had, across borders? Like a credit reference letter or something of that effect.

Also, are you telling them you've been in aussie land till now? if its not helping you it probably wont hurt to hide that fact...

Offline SuperFlyer

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #55 on: May 09, 2010, 01:27:18 PM »
If you've had an amex, you can ask for them to send a reference about you to their yankee counterparts. It could help.

That's provided, you didn't leave there with a down under balance...

Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #56 on: June 02, 2010, 03:40:56 PM »
APPROVED!!!
I just got approved for the Citi Foward CC with a $3,000 limit.
I don't have any previous credit history, so those that need a first time card this is the way to go.
Thanks to those that helped me out.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 03:53:36 PM by aussiebochur »

Offline Crazy tools

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #57 on: June 02, 2010, 03:47:02 PM »
very nice, still don't know what to do, my friend got asked for a proof of income?? any ideas??

Offline Deal Guy

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #58 on: June 02, 2010, 04:08:20 PM »
APPROVED!!!
I just got approved for the Citi Foward CC with a $3,000 limit.
I don't have any previous credit history, so those that need a first time card this is the way to go.
Thanks to those that helped me out.

CONGRATULATIONS!

Offline elikay

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #59 on: June 02, 2010, 04:34:20 PM »
congrats!!