Getting a credit card is something that you kind of have to do in order to build credit. But it’s also hard to get a credit card without having any prior credit. Yep, it’s a difficult situation to be in. Thankfully there are some ways to obtain your first credit card even if you do not have an extensive credit history.
- Get a Credit Card: The first (and most obvious) way to get your own credit card is to find steady employment. Credit card companies do not usually give credit out to contractors and consultants without a fight (you will have to have filed taxes and have a proven track record of employment), so it’s best to look for a full-time job through a reputable company. You can also obtain credit if you have a part-time job, but you will have to work for at least a month before being considered responsible enough to handle your own credit card (and the payments that come with it!).
- Be a Co-Signer: You can also get a credit card if you have a cosigner. This one is tricky because the person that signs for you will be entirely responsible for paying your debts should you have a hard time paying what you spend. In other words, few people other than mom or dad will be willing to do this for you -- sometimes, though, a mentor or boss that believes in you might be a good co-signing option.
- Get a "Secured" Credit Card: Another good option is to sign up for a credit card that is “secured.” What this means is that you put a certain amount of money towards the card (let’s say $500) and then use that money as “credit.” The advantage of a secured card over a bank account is that you can build credit with one of these cards. Most of the time, this is the best option if you do not have a job or a cosigner.
Why Build Credit
It’s hard to get any kind of loan (car, furniture, other) without credit. In addition, building credit shows the world that you are responsible. So even if credit doesn’t seem like a big deal in your younger years, it’s actually a really important thing to obtain. The more you build good credit now, the easier it will be when you are older to obtain a home or car loan.
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