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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 641542 times)

Offline meshugener

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Re: Credit card for older relative with Thin credit file best way to go?
« Reply #390 on: May 02, 2012, 11:17:16 AM »
Getting approved for all CCs she and I applied since then. I opened 2, both were approved with close to $20k CL, so I used 1 as a joint for me and the other as joint for her, waited another billing cycle so it should appear on our CR, and that's all. I believe the big factor in this was that they see wow! This guy has a lot of available credit! Good!
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Re: Credit card for older relative with Thin credit file best way to go?
« Reply #391 on: May 02, 2012, 11:32:28 AM »
Getting approved for all CCs...
If that is what works for you then stick with it.
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Offline meshugener

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Re: Credit card for older relative with Thin credit file best way to go?
« Reply #392 on: May 02, 2012, 11:43:40 AM »
Yeah, just inviting your kids to stick with me...
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Offline KidOOO

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Re: Credit card for older relative with Thin credit file best way to go?
« Reply #393 on: May 02, 2012, 12:54:45 PM »
So back to my question, will it be possible for me to add him as joint? or is that only for a couple

Offline lcyitz

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Credit card for older relative with Thin credit file best way to go?
« Reply #394 on: May 02, 2012, 12:57:30 PM »
You can add him as a joint. No marriage necceserry

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Re: Credit card for older relative with Thin credit file best way to go?
« Reply #395 on: May 02, 2012, 03:43:28 PM »
Yeah, just inviting your kids to stick with me...
When you have a 800+ FICO and never get a denial just let me know.  :)
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Re: Credit card for older relative with Thin credit file best way to go?
« Reply #396 on: May 02, 2012, 03:50:47 PM »
I believe that I have made my point strongly enough, on this thread sand on others discussing this topic, I believe you understand what I said, and I'm fed up arguing the same thing again and again, so I'll leave it here and stop. Bye bye!!
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Re: Credit card for older relative with Thin credit file best way to go?
« Reply #397 on: May 02, 2012, 11:47:13 PM »
Thanks everyone for help, gonna call chase for joint account.

How long do you think for any results in credit

Offline netzih

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Thanks everyone for help, gonna call chase for joint account.

How long do you think for any results in credit
depends how long this account that you are adding him on its open (and in good standing)

Offline KidOOO

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depends how long this account that you are adding him on its open (and in good standing)

2 years

Offline KidOOO

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Re: Credit card for older relative with Thin credit file best way to go?
« Reply #400 on: May 04, 2012, 03:18:02 PM »
I just got off the phone with chase, the rep told me that in order for him to be added as joint account need to fill out paper forms, and that approval process for that is just like his applying for a credit card on his own.

Does she know what she is talking about? because if so i cant see what i'm gaining by going this way

Offline lcyitz

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Re: Credit card for older relative with Thin credit file best way to go?
« Reply #401 on: May 04, 2012, 03:46:18 PM »
I am new to this whole adding joint to. but i spoke to 2 reps and  1 of them told me what you mentioned, and the other rep told me that they will add it (it seemed like they automatically do it), i think meshuganer mentioned  that they only pull your credit report for address and stuff so its like a soft pull, but not confirmed.

Offline netzih

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I am new to this whole adding joint to. but i spoke to 2 reps and  1 of them told me what you mentioned, and the other rep told me that they will add it (it seemed like they automatically do it), i think meshuganer mentioned  that they only pull your credit report for address and stuff so its like a soft pull, but not confirmed.
AFAIK they automatically add him as a AU than they send you papers to fill out to make him a joint cardholder (but I know people that would never be approved by chase for their own card be approved as joint so I don't think its like a regular credit card)

Offline lcyitz

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Credit card for older relative with Thin credit file best way to go?
« Reply #403 on: May 04, 2012, 05:47:40 PM »
AFAIK they automatically add him as a AU
True.

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Re: Credit card for older relative with Thin credit file best way to go?
« Reply #404 on: May 04, 2012, 07:07:29 PM »
Is there anyone here who know for sure?