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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 541108 times)

Offline nfsnyc

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Credit Card For Beginners
« on: July 01, 2008, 02:24:00 AM »
I was SURE there was a similar post up already, but couldnt find it, so at the risk of askin an old question, ill post this.

Whats a good FIRST credit card? Everyone says Capital One, but I dunno, they send out all that junk mail, and when you call them the reps are too eager to "assist" you..

Is there another option for a newcomer to the CC scene, such as a "student" card?

Ive been eye-ing Chase Banks cards, such as:

http://www.firstusa.com/cgi-bin/webcgi/webserve.cgi?partner_dir_name=cac_regal_stu&page=index

Says $0 annual fee, "At least 20 days Grace Period" (At least??) and various APR rates on par with other low credit rating cards. And its a "Student Card", so im assuming I should be approved?

Not 100% sure how that 20 day grace period works would be nice if someone can explain this to me:
Say my cycle ends on the 15th, and I buy something on the 16th (which +20 days grace would mean my "grace period" is up on the 5th (or 6th) of the following month) Now what if I have an "auto pay" set up to pay the full balance every 15th, will my payment be too late now (for the 16th purchase)? (Since it wont pay till the 15th of the following month, 29 days later)?

If anyone understands my question it would be nice if sum1 can clarify lol.  ;)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 07:56:52 PM by Dan »
**In an effort to contribute to this site, id like to invite anyone with any Cell Phone Unlocking (-GSM-) related questions to message me.*(Not an expert but have my share of knowledge on the subject.)**

Offline Yoel

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Re: First Credit Card
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2008, 11:31:06 AM »
The grace period is at least 20 days, meaning if you made a purchase the last day of your billing cycle, you have at least 20 days until your bill is due. If you made a purchase 1 day after your billing cycle than your grace period is obviously longer than 20 days, more like 7 weeks.

Offline Dan

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Re: First Credit Card
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2008, 11:51:04 AM »
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 nfsnyc

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Re: First Credit Card
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2008, 12:11:07 PM »
The grace period is at least 20 days, meaning if you made a purchase the last day of your billing cycle, you have at least 20 days until your bill is due. If you made a purchase 1 day after your billing cycle than your grace period is obviously longer than 20 days, more like 7 weeks.

So youre saying every purchase has 20 days after the billing cycle within which it was made to be paid? So you kinda have up to 50 days? (cycle plus grace?)

And Dan, I found that link you posted after writing this, kinda makes this thread repetitive, but any comments on the particular Chase Student Card I linked to?
**In an effort to contribute to this site, id like to invite anyone with any Cell Phone Unlocking (-GSM-) related questions to message me.*(Not an expert but have my share of knowledge on the subject.)**

Offline Dan

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Re: First Credit Card
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2008, 10:46:25 PM »
I wouldn't bother with a student card.
Get a Gap card, use it for a few months, and then you should be able to get a good card like the Starwood AMEX.
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 corny

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Re: First Credit Card
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2008, 02:38:30 PM »
i read somewhere that the first credit card you get you should keep [and use atleast every six months] becouse its importent for your credit that you had a card for a long time, so you should ask yourself if a gap card is a card that you want to keep for the rest of your life? i think you would be better off with someting like the chase or any student card from a good company that has half decent rewards [ i got the "has us-bank student card" ] and then as dan says sign up to something like the starwood

Offline mancunian

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Re: First Credit Card
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2008, 01:13:20 AM »
i opened a bank of america student card 6 months ago and applied a few times (about 3) for other cards and was denied. Any ideas why? Is it b/c ive been using most of my credit limit?

Offline corny

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Re: First Credit Card
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2008, 01:53:03 AM »
i opened a bank of america student card 6 months ago and applied a few times (about 3) for other cards and was denied. Any ideas why? Is it b/c ive been using most of my credit limit?
if you want to build up good credit score you should not be using up more than 30% of your available credit [some say that less than 15% is the best] but if you use up more than 50% you are doing harm to your credit, cnn says not more than 35% http://money.cnn.com/2006/07/10/pf/credit_killers/index.htm
so if you were using 80-90% that explains why u were rejected

Offline mancunian

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Re: First Credit Card
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2008, 07:16:33 AM »
so lets say i pay off the whole bill, how long should i wait to apply again?

Offline Yoel

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Re: First Credit Card
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2008, 03:07:30 PM »
so lets say i pay off the whole bill, how long should i wait to apply again?
In about 2-3 billing cycles your credit score should go up, and you should have a much better chance of getting approved for a new card, depending on your overall credit.

Offline corny

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easy to get eccepted credit card?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2008, 12:20:42 PM »
i have a friend who never had a card before so i told him to apply to the u.s. bank student card but they rejected him unless he can send in tuition forms. so what is the best credit card he can apply for that does not ask to many questions or need any forms even from a newby, that he can get eccepted for sure?

Offline Charles The Govenor

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Re: easy to get eccepted credit card?
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2008, 03:22:38 PM »
Try orchard bank.
star alliance

Offline ash

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Re: easy to get eccepted credit card?
« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2008, 03:39:50 PM »
some cc like citi they have a card that you give them 500 and they give you a card of 500 and thats to start your credit

you could try and open a macy,s or gap card to get your credit started

Offline israeli

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Re: easy to get eccepted credit card?
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2008, 07:28:49 PM »
pm me

Offline randomness123

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Re: easy to get eccepted credit card?
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2008, 09:29:14 PM »
i applied for a bank of america student card and they didnt ask for any kind of proof. maybe try them!