Metafilter: How do I credit card?
October 12, 2012 8:58 AM Subscribe
This is embarrassing: I'm 25. I don't know the first thing about credit cards and building credit. I do not have a credit card, and therefore, no credit. Where do I even start?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (38 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
It didn't even occur to me until I started looking at apartments to rent and realized many of them require a credit check in their application. I have a stable full-time job and make a good income, don't have any debt to pay off, have enough in savings for emergencies/staying afloat for a few months etc. I've lived with roommates in the past but never dealt with landlords - I always rented from people trying to fill a room. I don't really live beyond my means so I don't even buy a lot of "stuff" like furniture or flat screen TV's so I've never even considered a credit card.
My first question is - is there any way around this credit issue with regards to apartment applications? Or am I stuck in my current living situation until I have enough credit? How long does it take to build good credit?
The second is - I obviously need to get a credit card and start building credit. I feel like a sheltered little child - where do I even start? Do I just go to my bank and apply for a credit card? Would I even get one if I had no credit? How do I avoid getting ripped off?
I honestly have a limited understanding of how they even work beyond using it to buy stuff and not having to pay for it until later. Which I'd really rather not do - I'd rather just pay for things on the spot - but I will start using a credit card if I have to, if that's the only way to show landlords or loan applications etc that I am a credible person to count on for paying things off.
Please help me be a freaking grownup and go about this the smart way.