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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 537707 times)

Offline jack12

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Re: First credit card
« Reply #75 on: June 08, 2010, 03:29:59 PM »
Isn't there an issue if you are under 21?

No - you can get the Citi secure credit card if you are under 21

Offline lubaby

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Re: First credit card
« Reply #76 on: June 08, 2010, 04:48:52 PM »
Thanks guys, I appreciate your help
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Offline titzy

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #77 on: June 10, 2010, 12:28:52 PM »
Can I apply for a student card if I am not a student? If not, where can I start building my credit?

Offline Avid Reader

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #78 on: June 10, 2010, 12:47:29 PM »
Can I apply for a student card if I am not a student? If not, where can I start building my credit?

Did it with BoA years ago and was not in any real Yeshiva at the time (Shliach...). Just told them where I was learning, I think they asked for a phone # of the Shliach to verify (spoke to him first), got the card right away. Only prob. was the 800$ Credit limit, which is all they give even today to students. But looks like Citi is giving more.

Offline Crazy tools

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #79 on: June 10, 2010, 01:25:37 PM »
one of my friends got asked to send in a copy of a letter that he's a student, aussie & I didn't get asked that, it seems like thay ask everyone diff. questions.
just be prepared bec. they ask you for the school name (you can give a yeshiva) & they asked me my dorm phone # & who's name is on the bill, thay might have also asked me for the office #,

so do as you please, maybe you have a friend who's # u can give.......

Offline Afight4ever

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #80 on: June 10, 2010, 01:58:05 PM »
I dont know if this is helpful, but several friends of mine had it easy opening a checking account for 2-3 months and then applying for the bank issued CC as their first card. I personally did just that at 17 and worked out gr8 back then. I think if the bank sees that you have money going in and out with out being over drafted they would give you a small credit line to start off.

Offline Avid Reader

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #81 on: June 10, 2010, 02:10:14 PM »
I dont know if this is helpful, but several friends of mine had it easy opening a checking account for 2-3 months and then applying for the bank issued CC as their first card. I personally did just that at 17 and worked out gr8 back then. I think if the bank sees that you have money going in and out with out being over drafted they would give you a small credit line to start off.

Thanks for reminding me, As per Afight4ever, I was a customer with BoA for a few months when I asked for the card. They also wanted to know that I had some income and I told them I had from the Shliach (I think 400 a month)

Additionally, My brother who's in Yeshiva did the same thing about 2 years ago: Set up a student account with BoA and after few months he applied for their CC and got it ($800 CL). He did have a small amount of income going into the account.


Offline robi

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #82 on: June 10, 2010, 02:31:38 PM »
im a canadian studying here and dont have a ss no. is a student visa good enough? thanx!
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Offline farmerjoe

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #83 on: June 10, 2010, 03:07:02 PM »
you can get a cc under 18 years old?

Offline Dan

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #84 on: June 10, 2010, 03:08:08 PM »
you can get a cc under 18 years old?
I've had one since I went away from home to high school at 13.
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 farmerjoe

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #85 on: June 10, 2010, 03:11:34 PM »
i am 17 and have a Bank Of America checking account. should i apply for a BOA cc or the chase card mentioned before?
 

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #86 on: June 10, 2010, 03:12:07 PM »
I've had one since I went away from home to high school at 13.

How'd you do it? Pretty sure you didn't state your real age.

Offline SuperFlyer

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #87 on: June 10, 2010, 03:21:33 PM »
How'd you do it? Pretty sure you didn't state your real age.

maybe as an additional cardholder

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #88 on: June 10, 2010, 03:24:53 PM »
maybe as an additional cardholder

You still have to be 18, at least with AMEX. Something tells me Dan had his own card (did he once say he was building credit from 13?)

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #89 on: June 10, 2010, 03:39:35 PM »
about the credit card from a bank you have  checking acount with, I had a checking acount with BoA & soverigen (not to much $ in them) & tried to apply for the STUDENT cc with them & got denied!!
this was about 2 years ago, don't know if it changed.
I have a friend who just tried it & also got denied.
I would tell you to go with the citi card,  & don't tell them u make too much $$!!!