Free credit cards for people with no credit history?

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onegaynerd
 
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Free credit cards for people with no credit history?

Postby onegaynerd » Tue May 08, 2012 8:25 pm

I'm wanting to get my first credit card in order to build a nice history for myself. My parents and siblings have abused them in the past, but i've always been more financially secure.

Right now, I have a flat 0 credit rating (no credit history) so most cards I wouldn't even be able to get. I'm looking at a few student cards (Discover Student Open Road Card), however I'm not a student.

I want a card to buy things with, and treat it like I would a debit card. I would only buy things I could already afford and have the money to pay off as soon as the bill arrives. What I'm confused about however, is how this works. The ideal card for me wouldn't charge any interest or fees unless I carried a balance, but I'm not sure if this can be had with my current credit standing or if it exists at all. Any help? D:


Agallion
 
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 10:59 pm
Location: Texas

Postby Agallion » Wed May 09, 2012 10:30 am

I am in a similar boat. I just graduate grad school in December, and have a decent job ($45k in west texas). But I have no credit history( I think). I had no loans and never had my own credit card. When i try to pull my credit report, all 3 credit agencies give me an error online.

I was recently declined by Citi Forward for limited or no credit history :mad:

I plan on swinging by my bank (credit union) today to apply for one of their credit cards, and am not sure if they will report that out to the credit agencies or not.

Crashem
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Postby Crashem » Wed May 09, 2012 12:35 pm

Ahh, too bad you didn't apply for student cards when you guys were in school. Here are the choices that I know of:

1) Capital One for Newcomers
2) Go to your bank into the branch and not online. Talk to banker and see what they can do. Even the big banks, the branch people can help get your a card.
3) Go to local credit union and do the same thing
4) Secured cards are available from lots of sources

Here is deal. You need to actively manage your credit for the 1st year to get off to good start. If you have a bunch of savings, opening 1-2 secured cards is a great way to start as you can often get a much higher line of credit (via big deposit) than your credit would otherwise allow. Otherwise, you will probably get a 300-500 limit card.

Avoid the ones that are designed for people with horrible credit (first premier and their kind). Once you have the new card(s), use them for 3-6 months. PIF and before you apply for more credit, make sure to pay earlier enough that no balance is reported. By this time, you should have credit score that will be pretty good, you should then apply for 2-3 more cards around same day. Do you research. You want a card you will likely get.

Ideally, these cards should have no annual fee and good rewards. Depending on whether or not you had secured cards, you might want to cancel your secured cards and get your deposit back at this point as you have the new unsecured cards on your report. In another 6 months, with multiple cards reporting (ideally at least 3) and assuming positive use of your cards (PIF etc), you should now qualify for most cards, but make sure this time that 0 balance is reported on all cards but one which will report 1-9% utilization.

At this point, you should get some long term cards that have no AF (unless you love the card) and great rewards assuming you didn't get it in your last round. Look for cards where issuers are generous with auto CLIs or CLIs in general without hard pulls. Do your research. Then it is gardening time (ie just use your cards responsibly) for a 1 year or so. Get your CLIs and get your limits up.
Amex Centurion, Amex Platinum, Amex BCP 8k->24k (5/23/12), Amex TE 15k, Cap One 1.5% 15k->20k (8/7/13), CSP 25k, Chase Palladium 100k, Citibank AA 35k (AU), Firestone 1.8k->2.2k->2.4k (8/20/12), JFCU Jloc 30k, PenFed Plat Rewards 30k, SF Fire 30k, US Bank Cash+ 25k

DavidNY
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Postby DavidNY » Wed May 09, 2012 12:36 pm

If you decide on a secured card I would suggest Bank of America's card (which I would recommend only if you're first declined for an unsecured line of credit.)

Crashem
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Postby Crashem » Wed May 09, 2012 12:41 pm

Forgot a few things:
1) If you can get AU status on existing card, that would help assuming good history on that card. You still need to get your beginner card(s) but the AU can help. Ideal AU card is long history, no balance, high limit
2) OP asked about interest rate etc. As long as you pay during the grace period (and all the cards I am talking about should have it), you will pay no interest. For example, your statement period is between May 5 and June 5, the due date might be June 21. As long as you pay before June 21, you pay no interest.
Amex Centurion, Amex Platinum, Amex BCP 8k->24k (5/23/12), Amex TE 15k, Cap One 1.5% 15k->20k (8/7/13), CSP 25k, Chase Palladium 100k, Citibank AA 35k (AU), Firestone 1.8k->2.2k->2.4k (8/20/12), JFCU Jloc 30k, PenFed Plat Rewards 30k, SF Fire 30k, US Bank Cash+ 25k



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