First Credit Card — How to Successfully Apply for Your First Credit Card.

Credit card applications have not changed much over time, what has changed is the usage of information regarding the available offers (thank you Internet). The online credit card application has revolutionized the consumers ability to find a very good card offer for their own financial needs.

Applying for your first credit card can be a confusing exercise to state the least. I have now been surprised often times to listen to from others who have reached their 30th birthday without ever applying for a credit card. That is a sad circumstance, as it can be difficult to be approved for credit without prior credit card history.

THE APPROACH

The way of successfully applying for your very first card will depend on your age, college enrollment status, and credit rating. It is essential to check out a credit card applicatoin strategy that matches your position, to prevent discouraging denials and lower credit scores.

COLLEGE STUDENTS

Many major banks offer charge cards designed for college students. Applying for one of these brilliant offers is a superb solution to be approved for your first credit card, and to start a history of responsible credit use. Four years of on-time payments should go a long way to building a healthy credit score. This will be a great benefit to a new graduate in regards to purchasing a car, home, as well as applying for employment (yes, many employers will check the credit reports of potential hires).

For all of the above reasons we recommend that every university student have a credit card in their very own name.

NON-STUDENTS

If you’re not a scholar, finding the right way of applying for your first card is a little more complicated. The best approach will depend on your credit history.

NO PREVIOUS (OR UNKNOWN) CREDIT HISTORY

If you do not have any credit history, or don’t know what your credit score seems like, the first faltering step is to buy a credit report with a FICO score. It is totally imperative that you realize your credit status before applying for your first card. Applying for a card that is out of your reach (due to a low FICO score) can further decrease your score, thereby reducing the opportunity of you being approved on the next application attempt.

You might be surprised to find that you do have a credit history even if you have not sent applications for a card. This is often as a result of accounts with department stores, utility companies, Credit Cards mobile phone accounts, etc.

If your report doesn’t show any negative information (late payments, etc) and your score is above 600, you can test applying for a “prime” card. Otherwise, you must try applying for a “sub-prime” card.

GOOD CREDIT HISTORY

If you believe you’ve a good credit history… double check. You ought to still consider ordering a credit report with credit score. After you confirm that your credit history is positive, you must try applying for a “prime” credit card. Look for credit offers that want “good” credit. These cards will offer better features and lower fees and rates then cards designed for those who have poor credit.

POOR CREDIT HISTORY

Even without prior charge cards it’s possible to have a poor credit history. This is the reason it’s so important to check on your credit report and score just before applying for your first card. Low scores may have been due to missed utility bill payments, and other related financial activity that will be reported to credit bureaus.

If you discover yourself in this example, start with trying to use for a card designed for those who have “fair” credit. If you are approved with this card, great… if not, you are able to move ahead to applying for a secured credit card. The original denial shouldn’t effect your ability to be approved for a secured card.

Secured charge cards require an income deposit. Essentially, you deposit money in to a “savings” account and then borrow against your deposit each time you employ your secured card. While this might sound just like a hassle, it could be the only way (based on an unhealthy credit history) to be approved for your first card. Understand this as a temporary means to fix a longterm problem. After a couple of years of paying your bill punctually, you are able to check your credit score again, and apply for an unsecured card.

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