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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 499990 times)

Offline SuperFlyer

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #60 on: June 02, 2010, 04:46:40 PM »
Mazel tov

Offline Charles The Govenor

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #61 on: June 02, 2010, 04:56:01 PM »
And 3k very nice.
star alliance

Offline Yellow

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #62 on: June 02, 2010, 06:02:50 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.
yay! Enjoy
« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 06:09:21 PM by DealPrincess »

Offline SuperFlyer

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #63 on: June 02, 2010, 06:41:05 PM »
I got a visa gold with $2,500 limit being 16.
But that's just me.

In the usa I believe the hardest part is the first one, so Mazel Tops.

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #64 on: June 02, 2010, 07:29:39 PM »
wow aussie you must be doing something right, look how many well wishers you have!!!!

Offline plane.love

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #65 on: June 02, 2010, 08:22:39 PM »
When I was a young fledgling leaving the nest everyone was talking about a BOA secured student card.

Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #66 on: June 03, 2010, 07:15:24 AM »
Thanks everyone!! It is very much appreciated. ;D

Offline jack12

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #67 on: June 03, 2010, 07:34:24 PM »
I had major trouble getting my first. Lucky you!

Offline lubaby

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First credit card
« Reply #68 on: June 07, 2010, 10:23:35 PM »
I'm looking to get my first credit card. What's a good one to sign up for?
Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

Offline hocker

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Re: First credit card
« Reply #69 on: June 07, 2010, 10:35:03 PM »
citi forward student card
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Offline Crazy tools

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Re: First credit card
« Reply #70 on: June 07, 2010, 11:20:24 PM »
lubaby, there is a search feature on this site. u can check there, the citi card was discussed (a few weeks ago)

Offline aussiebochur

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Re: First credit card
« Reply #71 on: June 08, 2010, 12:19:13 PM »
Read this.

Offline Crazy tools

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Re: First credit card
« Reply #72 on: June 08, 2010, 02:25:06 PM »
thanks aussie I was waiting for you to post that type of link for this guy  :)

Offline ceejay

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Re: First credit card
« Reply #73 on: June 08, 2010, 02:29:33 PM »
Isn't there an issue if you are under 21?

Offline Crazy tools

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Re: First credit card
« Reply #74 on: June 08, 2010, 02:40:58 PM »
there may be you never know!!
what in the world are you reffering to, please explain. besides for the fact that the forward card is called the "citi bank STUDENT forward visa card"