Trying to figure out if I should get a credit card

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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Trying to figure out if I should get a credit card

Postby Aria » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:38 am

Hi everyone!

Firstly, let me just say thanks in advance for the help & advice- I sure need some.

Secondly, I'm kind of on my own right now. I turned 18 about half a year ago and I don't really have anyone to ask questions to. I've been told to start building credit early by having bills in my name and whatnot, but at this point in time I don't really have anything I need bills for. I don't have a cell phone, just a google voice number and some wifi- and I'm living with others and contributing to the bills as things get split.

I was going through some articles and seeing how having a credit card and using it for small things a few times a month can build your credit. However, I know little to nothing about what's good. I've been looking things up and doing my best to research- but things are so crazy it seems. All these numbers and rates and requirements, it's quite complicated.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to whether or not obtaining a credit card for the sheer reason of building credit for my future is a good idea? If so or if not, what else can I do? What cards are good for first timers? I'm not irresponsible, and I've always been very very good at handling my money so I have no concern about overcharges or anything like that.

Thank you so much again, I really appreciate it!

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Postby MemberSince99 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:38 am

Yes it is a good idea. These days many employers check your credit, and you need it to get a place to live as well in many cases. Your insurance cost is based partly on your credit, and if you want to buy a house or car someday and not pay cash for them (which most people can't) then you need credit.

So from that perspective yes. Also utilities check your credit and may charge you a deposit if you don't have credit or have good credit.

Since you don't have credit, you will find that the best lenders won't extend their usual credit cards to you as they have no history to go on (I'm sure you've heard the old adage if you don't have credit how do you get credit). So you will probably need to go the route of a secured card to start with. This requires you to put down money to get a card, kind of like putting a deposit on your utilities, which you someday get back. BofA offers a 500 limit card for a 99 deposit and CapOne offers secured cards too and both are better than dealing with the bottom of the barrel like First Premiere or Credit One who will fee you to death (but people who have bad credit may have no choice but to deal with bottom of the barrel).

I'm assuming you can't be added as an authorized user on someone else's cards to build credit or join a credit union and get a card through them as they may be easier for a member to get a card through than a bank usually is.

These are the options you are realistically looking at. Don't bother applying with Amex/Chase/US Bank and other prime lenders now as that will just be futile at this point. After 6 months to a year of good and responsible use with a starter card, you CAN apply for prime cards and have a realistic shot. But for now, don't waste the inquiries.

Hopefully this gives you useful information to start with. You should be able to get a card to start out this way. Use it responsibly for at least 6 months preferably a year, THEN apply for better cards that will give you rewards and nice limits.

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Postby samhradh » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:51 am

Yes, the sooner you start building credit, the better.

My advice is to go to your bank and sit down with them. Explain your situation and that you want to start building credit. Try to get a credit card through them. They are likely to either approve you with a small credit line or give you advice on how to get one in the future. (If you do not have a bank account, that is step one!).

Are you a student? If you are, there's actually a chance you can get a student credit card. Try for the Citi Forward or Discover it. Citi has branches you can try going to in person for the same face-to-face experience you would have at your own bank.

My first two credit cards were a bank one and a Citi Forward. I was a senior in college with no credit history except for being an AU on my mother's card.
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Postby ajacks108 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:23 am


THE SMARTEST THING TO DO IS BUILD CREDIT EARLY. I started when I was 18 as well, with a Chase College Card which they stopped :/. However since then I've been able to get whatever card I wanted to get the most out of my rewards.

Not only that but in the future when you need to get loans, get a mortgage, auto loan, etc you will save thousands of dollars for having a higher credit score.

Ways you can do as suggested above is becoming an AU on someones card. Opening a secure card which will require a deposit which they will take if you flake out on paying them back. Or opening up your own card. It took forever for my GF to find a card because she had 0 credit finally chase freedom took her on. Try them. Or if you're going to open a secure card open it with your current bank to increase your relationship with them and hopefully you can switch over to one of their full credit cards after 6 months or so. Which is what i usually tell my costumers they can do (work for a bank).

In terms of information. CreditKarma will teach you everything you need to learn about building credit. Thats where I get majority of my information. On top of that don't worry about the rates. Why? Because if you are planning on just using it to build your credit score you should be aiming for low utilization (1-20%) and paying on time. To do that keep a low balance that you can pay off every month and you won't have to worry about the interest rates.
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Ann Taylor Loft - CL $1000[/size]

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Postby Obi-dan » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:25 pm

Good credit can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the span of your life and this doesn't even mean you need to use credit to buy things you can't afford.

Good credit will help with getting an apartment and the amount of money you may have to put down for a deposit. It will lower interest rates for car loans, mortgages, etc. It can help et a better job, qualify for better insurance rates and many other things. Establish credit now, never use much of your credit and continue to build and you can be well ahead of the game.
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Postby Midori » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:14 pm

Good for you for getting started early.

As helpful as things like student loans, car loans, utilities, etc, are, companies will still ding you for lack of revolving credit. So definitely pick up a starter credit card and pay it off in full every month so that you won't get turned down later in life for things you really want.

You can try going to your bank, and they might give you a boost. Mine was Citi, and I discovered that the checking side of things didn't really have much to do with the credit side of things, and it was like pulling teeth to get a card. Or if you have a credit union, you might give that a shot... mine didn't offer any starter cards, but kept trying to give me pretend loans. Yours might be more helpful.

Look into a credit card for people with no or bad credit history. It's actually a pretty small pool. You're probably looking at a student card, a secured credit card, or maybe one of the starter Capital One cards, like a Platinum or a QuicksilverOne. Ignore the prepaid cards.

Good luck!

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