How does an 18-year-old with no credit history get a credit card?
February 18, 2006 9:06 AM Subscribe
I'm turning 18 in April. I have no credit history. How do I get a credit card?
posted by qslack to Work & Money (32 answers total)
I won't be enrolling in college for at least another year, so student offers won't work. I have no employer other than myself, so there are no paystubs or bosses to vouch for me. My parents are not interested in being co-signers on a joint credit card.
I have for several years maintained savings and checking accounts at Bank of America, Citibank, Harris Bank, and some community banks. My tax returns can provide proof of (self-employed) income.
But I have no credit history (I have checked). I would like to get a credit card (instead of the many debit cards I have now) and a margin account on Scottrade (just in case--not for crazy speculation).
Here are my options, as I see them:
1) Undesirable: Get a secured card with a low ($500) credit limit and build my credit for a year, then get a real credit card. This is a sure thing, but I'd like to not have my money tied up like that, and I would like to take advantage of the float on credit card purchases.
2) Desirable: Get a real credit card with a low limit and use it responsibly to build my credit over time.
How can I improve my chances of being granted a real credit card upon my turning 18? Has anyone had any experience with this? Is there anything I can be doing now, at age 17, to establish credit? What banks would be most likely to give me cards immediately (since each credit rejection, as I understand, hurts my credit rating)?