How to Get Your First Credit Card

It doesn’t take long until a teenager reaches the magical age of 18 and begins to exercise his or her newfound freedom. One of the first things that 18-year-olds enjoy doing is applying for their first credit card. As this is an exciting time in any young adult’s life, it is important to realize that your future will rest heavily upon your credit score and it’s a good idea not to rush to get a credit card until you are certain you can handle the monthly responsibility. Ensure that you understand how credit works, what the impact of bad credit will have on your financial future, how credit cards work and what you will be required to pay, before learning how to get your first credit card. You must take the steps necessary to guard your credit score and for many, this means waiting until you are financially ready for the responsibility before adding credit to the equation.

By protecting your credit and using a credit card responsibly, you can raise your credit score and enjoy financial advantages throughout your life. Misuse your credit card and you’ll find that you pay more for housing, your auto insurance, have difficulty renting automobiles and more. Those who seek loans for businesses will find their credit score will determine their interest rates and ultimately, whether or not they are approved. Before filling out multiple applications for a credit card, ensure that you are financially ready for the expense, are committed to paying your monthly bills on time, and will not max out your cards as these will negatively impact your credit score. When you are prepared to handle this responsibility, you are then ready to learn how to get your first credit card.

Most 18-year-olds will find that it is a bit difficult to get a credit card as lenders tend not to issue cards to those who don’t have a credit history established. As many 18-year-olds have been living with their parents, are new to the work force, and may still be in school, lenders aren’t willing to issue credit cards unless the consumer has established some form of credit history. If you are anxious to learn how to get your first credit card yet have no credit history, there are several options available from which you can choose. First, you may apply for a secured credit card. These cards are prepaid and have a set limit. You put money on the card, then use that set amount, as well as pay interest; essentially, you set your credit line or limit by funding your account. Secured credit cards provide several benefits, such as they are a great way to build your credit history in a safe manner. By paying your bills on time, each month, you’ll find that between six months to one year, your account will be upgraded to unsecured. Additionally, unsecured credit cards report to the three major credit bureaus each month, ensuring that you are establishing credit history.

If you are anxious to learn how to get your first credit card, yet don’t want to get an unsecured card, there are several more options available. Consider speaking to your bank as you may be able to qualify for a loan that you repay immediately. If you have $500-$1,000 in savings, ask your bank about taking out a loan, then repaying it as this will quickly build your credit history. This option is preferable as you won’t lose too much money in expensive interest rates by repaying the loan quickly.

Another option is to take out a credit card for a department or other retail store. Be careful, however, as these cards often have high interest rates, but for those who find them valuable, they are a great way to build up credit history.

Regardless of which option you choose, you must make certain that you make timely payments or else you run the risk of damaging your credit history, making it even more difficult to obtain a credit card.

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