If you have no credit history, some people/sites may lead you into getting credit cards that have an annual fee or some sort of payment involved to get credit and establish a history. However you almost never need to go that way. You have several options depending on whether you are a student or not.

If you are a student, you can apply for student versions of credit cards. I know that atleast Citibank, American Express and Chase will give you student credit cards which as as good as the regular ones with decent credit limits (in the range of $3000, not $500 like many other banks).

If you are not a student, you can start by applying for store credit cards (e.g. the GAP card). Then wait for six months and apply for regular credit cards. Don’t apply for more than two or three cards in a six month period. This will affect your credit score negatively.

One thing to note, always make more than minimum payments on all your cards. Credit Card companies report to credit agencies one of the following (based on what I could figure from Providian’s credit manager/my credit reports)

  • Did not pay/Paid Less than Minimum
  • Paid Minimum
  • Paid More than Minimum

One thought on “Credit Cards If You Have No Credit History”

  1. There is one more way to start a credit history, which however is not so popular – it is secured credit cards. Not all the people would agree to pay the sum of credit to the bank first, and only after it to start using the credit given. But secured credit card is really a way out if you are trying to recover after bankruptcy or no one agrees to give you an unsecured card. I had to use such type of a card, but later the bank made this card unsecured.

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