How to Get Your First Credit Card

Getting your first credit card is a big step when it comes to establishing a credit history for yourself, and if you don’t have one yet–there’s a few things you should look for and be aware of if you’re beginning to shop around for the right credit card. Not sure how to obtain your first card? The tips featured here will help point you in the right direction.

Research Your Options

If you think you’re ready to be a credit card holder, the first thing you should do is research all of your options. If you’re a frequent shopper at a particular department store, you may wish to obtain a credit card that’s valid for purchases made at that store only. If you’re a college student just starting out, you’re probably more interested in a major credit card that you can use to cover various expenses or emergency-type situations. Regardless of what kind of card you’re interested in, it’s important that you find out exactly what the credit agreement entails before you go ahead and apply. Things you’ll want to closely examine include interest rates, expiration dates for promotional offers, cardholder perks, and applicant requirements. Wondering where to look for the best credit card offers? Check at your local bank or do some browsing online. If you’re interested in a department store credit card, inquire in-store the next time you’re shopping or visit the company’s website for more information.

Fill Out an Application

Credit card applications are a breeze these days–and in most cases, you can both complete an application and find out whether or not you’re approved within a matter of minutes. When you fill out a credit card application, be honest. Your answers along with a quick credit check will largely determine how much credit you’re eligible for–and the last thing you need when you’re trying to establish a good credit history is more credit than you know how to handle.

Find the credit card that fits your needs.

Consider a Secured Credit Card

If you’re having difficulty getting your first credit card because you have poor credit or no credit to speak of, you might want to consider applying for a secured credit card to in order to establish a favorable financial profile for yourself. Other than the fact that a secured credit card requires you to put a deposit down on either a partial amount or the full amount of your credit line, it works much in the same way a regular credit card does. After displaying responsible use of your secured credit card over an extended period of time, you’ll probably have no trouble getting a conventional credit card–with no deposit required.

Be Mindful of Your Credit Habits

The best way to ensure that you won’t have too much difficulty getting your first credit card is to work hard at establishing a stellar credit history that will make potential creditors look twice. Try to pay more than the required minimum payments on any outstanding loans, medical bills, and utility bills, if you have them–and pay them on time each and every month so that you’ll increase your chances of qualifying for a credit card the next time you decide to apply for one.

Your first credit card is an integral part of your financial profile–and if yours is “under construction,” you’ll want to be sure that you start things off by beginning with a solid foundation. After you find a card that will best suit your needs, show the company who issued it to you that you’re a reliable user by practicing smart spending and payment habits. With responsible financial behavior and a few helpful tips on the process of applying for a credit card–you’ll probably find that getting your first credit card isn’t as challenging as you thought it’d be.

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