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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 597946 times)

Offline myi

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4530 on: October 17, 2019, 08:43:39 PM »
I am trying to open a business credit card with Chase under my name and SS #. I received a letter stating they need proof of business name so they said I could send a utility bill with the business name and address on it. What is the easiest way to get my name changed to the business name for any bill or is there a better option altogether?
business name is different than your legal name?
And are you applying as a sole proprietorship?

wow no forex with no annual fee, I thought such a thing didn't exist?
Many capital one credit cards, many TD cards and Amazon prime card, there are many out there.
Don't try to be someone else , be who you are because everyone else is taken.

Offline Divora M

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4531 on: October 18, 2019, 12:52:25 AM »
business name is different than your legal name?
And are you applying as a sole proprietorship?

Yes, I applied with a business name instead of my name by mistake.

Offline myi

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4532 on: October 18, 2019, 12:55:48 AM »

Yes, I applied with a business name instead of my name by mistake.
Yes a common mistake, and I wish you good luck trying to get approved for that card.
  Me myself and many others have done that same mistake, we asked Dan to highlight that on a post for business credit card that when applying for a card as a sole proprietorship you must sign up with your legal name no business name, unless you can prove it that it's legit.
  I've called so many times I spoke to Representatives / supervisors got nowhere.
   you can definitely try if you don't have any documents supporting the business name I wish you much luck.

I just reapplied for it with another credit pull and was approved.

Quote
These are business cards, but you may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can open a business credit card for “Joe Smith” as the business. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that. Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field.

It’s important to just write your own name as the business name if you are just applying for your own small business as a Sole Proprietorship that doesn’t have any business paperwork
.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2019, 01:00:16 AM by myi »
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Offline Shlomo1

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4533 on: April 04, 2020, 10:05:30 PM »
"Pay your account balance off, besides a buck or two, the day before your statement closes. This will will greatly increase your credit score" What does this mean and why does it help?

Offline ltttc

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4534 on: April 04, 2020, 10:48:03 PM »
"Pay your account balance off, besides a buck or two, the day before your statement closes. This will will greatly increase your credit score" What does this mean and why does it help?
30% of your credit score is: Amount of debt. The amount of debt you owe in relation to your credit limit is a factor that can help or hurt your credit score. This is calculated on a per-card basis as well as an overall basis.  (It's best to keep your balances below 33% of your credit limit.)
If you pay off your balance besides for $1..., your debt to credit limit ratio will be extremely low, thus increasing your credit score.

Offline myi

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4535 on: April 06, 2020, 02:35:24 AM »
30% of your credit score is: Amount of debt. The amount of debt you owe in relation to your credit limit is a factor that can help or hurt your credit score. This is calculated on a per-card basis as well as an overall basis.  (It's best to keep your balances below 33% of your credit limit.)
If you pay off your balance besides for $1..., your debt to credit limit ratio will be extremely low, thus increasing your credit score.
What I never understood is; why would I trust someone who has a $1 balance more than someone with a 500$ balance? Wouldn't you want to lend to someone who borrowed a $500 amount and paid back vs $1?

 Someone who only borrowed $1 shows no sign of responsibility that he can pay back as he only borrowed $1? (meaning the statement is only closing with a $1 balance).
   
 Unless it's because I have the ability to spend 10k, that's shows that I'm a reliable customer and safe to borrow funds? As I only borrowed a small percentage when I was allowed to borrow 90% more than i borrowed(using 90% as an example, where I spent 10%)?   
Don't try to be someone else , be who you are because everyone else is taken.

Offline Mf1

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4536 on: May 17, 2020, 07:01:23 PM »
@Dan mentioned in his cc master post not to downgrade a cc within the first twelve months. Would that mean paying 2 AFs or downgrading right b4 the end of the year is fine?
Thanks!

Offline Dan

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4537 on: May 17, 2020, 08:59:41 PM »
@Dan mentioned in his cc master post not to downgrade a cc within the first twelve months. Would that mean paying 2 AFs or downgrading right b4 the end of the year is fine?
Thanks!
You can downgrade after the 2nd AF posts and get it refunded.
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 Mf1

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4538 on: May 17, 2020, 11:29:40 PM »
Ok thanks!

Offline Cat18

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4539 on: August 13, 2020, 10:13:14 AM »
When applying for a Chase business card is the credit pull on my credit report? I keep reading how Dan says that business cards dont appear on credit report but he not say anything about the credit pull.

Offline justmeha

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4540 on: August 13, 2020, 10:19:39 AM »
When applying for a Chase business card is the credit pull on my credit report? I keep reading how Dan says that business cards dont appear on credit report but he not say anything about the credit pull.
the pull will definitely show up on your account. It's just that the account will not show up as a new account once it's opened

Offline Cat18

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4541 on: August 14, 2020, 01:12:06 AM »
1. If I apply for 2 personal cards from different banks the same day (amex and chase), is it considered 1 or 2 credit pulls?

2. If I apply for 1 personal and 1 business from the same bank, is it considered 1 or 2 credit pulls?

3. Any way to apply for more then 1 card (both personal, both business or 1 of each) and have it combined for 1 credit pull?

Offline dealtastic

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4542 on: August 14, 2020, 03:29:44 AM »
1. If I apply for 2 personal cards from different banks the same day (amex and chase), is it considered 1 or 2 credit pulls?

2. If I apply for 1 personal and 1 business from the same bank, is it considered 1 or 2 credit pulls?

3. Any way to apply for more then 1 card (both personal, both business or 1 of each) and have it combined for 1 credit pull?

1. Two, assuming both banks are pulling (see Amex note below).
2. Two, unless the bank decides to only pull once.
3. Generally no. Amex for example doesn't pull at all for existing customers.

Offline Samb

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4543 on: August 14, 2020, 09:56:44 AM »
1. Two, assuming both banks are pulling (see Amex note below).
2. Two, unless the bank decides to only pull once.
3. Generally no. Amex for example doesn't pull at all for existing customers.

@Cat18 you can see this post for a complete brake down https://helpmebuildcredit.com/combining-same-day-credit-inquiries-who-does-and-who-does-not/

@dealtastic do you know for a fact that Amex never pulls? It used to YMMV

Offline dealtastic

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4544 on: August 14, 2020, 03:48:59 PM »
@Cat18 you can see this post for a complete brake down https://helpmebuildcredit.com/combining-same-day-credit-inquiries-who-does-and-who-does-not/

"yes, they will combine, but some data points suggest they won't".
"yes, they will combine, but you can only get approved for 1 card".  ::)

@dealtastic do you know for a fact that Amex never pulls? It used to YMMV
I don't have inside information, but can tell you they have been doing that for the last couple of years.