How To Start My Credit? (18 year old)

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How To Start My Credit? (18 year old)

Postby JesseSimpson1475 » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:13 pm

Hi, all! I was very curious as to how I am going to start my credit at such a young age. I have been employed for 5 months now. I applied for a Best Buy Credit card back in December 2013 but was not instantly approved. I also read that applying for many cards can take a chip at your credit score.

So my question is, what advice would you give to someone like myself who wants to start their credit score up? What are the steps and requirements I should take?

Thank you all very very much!

Jesse S.
Vero Beach, FL

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Postby JMR » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:17 pm

I also am new to credit. Welcome to the forum. I would say apply for a credit card at your own bank or try for a cosigner or secured card. I got lucky and didn't need eithervwhen I applied for the Discover IT.
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select- $5000 (3/15)
American Express Gold- NPSL (3/15)
Chase Freedom- $1200 (3/15)
Nordstrom- $1500 (9/14)
Discover IT- $1000 (2/14)

TCL: $8700

FICO (TU)- 716 (3/15)

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Postby RyanMac » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:19 am

I would get a secured credit card for at least 6 months to 1 year before applying for an unsecured card. If you're unfamiliar with a secured is, it is a credit card that is "secured" by providing a deposit. The your credit limit is most often the deposit you provide. Give them $500 and you'll get a secured card for $500. In this way the banks have collateral if you don't pay, but you'll get the deposit bank if you decide to close the account. After 6-12 months of on time payments along with any other accounts reported to the credit bureau (i.e student loans) you should have a good enough score to apply for some of the entry level cards. Capital One Vibe come to mind. You get 1% cash back on all purchases, no annual fee, and if you're approved for the gold you get travel and auto insurance coverage. This card also comes in secured form so I think you may be able to switch to gold from the secured without having to generate a hard pull but i'm not sure.

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Postby xstayfrosty » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:41 am

I had to learn the hard way, unfortunately. I am also 18 and new to credit. You should DEFINITELY start by opening up a credit card with your bank. :) you would get instantly approved since you have a relationship with them. After a few months, go ahead for a Discover IT walmart or Discover it credit card. Whatever you prefer.

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Postby Techno4K » Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:53 am

Back then when I turned 18 year old with no credit history (few years before the Great Recession), I applied for an AMEX Blue Sky and a Citi Dividend card and was instantly approved for both with very nice limit. Banks were handing out credit like candy at this time. I read on banker's websites regularly that the economy has been doing well and credit cards issuers has been very generous again, so I would suggest trying to apply for an AMEX card like the Delta Gold Skymiles which I hear is easy to get approved or a Citi Simplicity card. If you get denied, then try to apply a CC at a local credit union. They usually give young people with no credit history a unsecured loan to win your lifelong loyalty.

If you are rejected after taking the routes above, then ask your family or good friends to add you as an Authorized User to their good standing account. It takes 6 month of credit history for a FICO score to be generable. As long as the history is good, you should be able to get a decent unsecured credit card in your own name after the 6 month. If not, get a secured card, and put as much money as you can afford to, and make sure the card reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.

Getting a co-signer should be absolutely the last option. The other person can easily mess up your credit (or vice versa), and it has been known to cause a lot of lost friendships or family problems.

At any rate, let me know how it goes.

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Postby takeshi » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:43 am

Usual recommendations are credit unions and secured.

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Postby GDaCosta » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:41 pm

I would apply with the new discover it card. They accept you with a $750 CL
I applied with a Wells Fargo secured and then applied for a Blue Cash everday 9 months later and got accepted.

Just start out with one and then apply for a new one.

Wells Fargo Platinum $300 (Secured) 2/20/13

American Express Blue cash everday $2000 9/4/13

Last time I checked my score it was 724 ( a month ago)

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Postby MR.SVT » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:05 pm

I went through the same thing you're going through about a year ago. I, personally, hate the idea of a secured card and will only use it as an absolute last resort. Putting $500 (or more) dollars into an account that you cannot touch, and only being approved for that limit while still having to fork over more money to pay your bill is ludicrous to me. Yes, I understand you're a liability to lenders etc. but you're much better off hunting around and spending a little time researching/applying for a true credit card.

I (as well as many others) have had great luck with Capital One and their Journey card. After all, it is a student card so I'd suggest applying for that...given you have at least some kind of income to note on the application.

Good luck, be sure to let us know what happens with your search.

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Postby RyanMac » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:39 am

Be mindful too of the fact that if you do get an unsecured card it is in your best interest to keep it open for as long as you can, preferably for life, as it will boost your age of accounts. That being said look for something with no annual rate.

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Postby otter » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:18 am

RyanMac wrote:Be mindful too of the fact that if you do get an unsecured card it is in your best interest to keep it open for as long as you can, preferably for life, as it will boost your age of accounts. That being said look for something with no annual rate.

It's only in your best interest to keep it open if the card is useful. Why keep a card which costs you money and/or has no rewards or benefits? Even after you close a card, it will still be on your credit report for 10 years after last activity (as long as you've never paid late).

Best thing OP can do is: try one of several routes: (1) local credit union (2) store card (3) secured card/Cap One. Get one card from one of those three places (credit union if you can, secured card is next best choice). After six months of good usage(always pay on time, keep utilization low), try for Discover IT, Barclaycard(Rewards or Sallie Mae), or Chase Freedom. Don't app for six months after that and then try for an Amex charge card or one of the easier-to-get revolvers. Once you get the Amex card... that's your ticket to average age of account via backdating. Don't keep cards which cost you money or which have no use in your arsenal of cards!
In my Wallet:
  • Amex PRG NPSL[3-14, bd 91]
  • Sallie Mae MC $8000[1-14]
  • Chase Freedom $4700[1-14]
  • Discover It $2750[8-13]
  • BoA UCF Alumni Cash Rewards $5000 [3-15]
Sometimes in my Wallet:
  • GM BuyPower WEMC $5000[9-14]
  • Wells Fargo Propel 365 Amex $7000[4-14]
  • Barclaycard Arrival WEMC $7000[3-14]
  • BoA Better Balance $3000[2-15]
In my sockdrawer: Amex BCE $1000[10-13, bd 91], OCCU Duck $10000 [11-13], The Sportsman's Guide Visa $8000[8-14], Chase Slate $4000 [9-14]Delta Gold Amex $2000 [2-15 bd 91], Diners Club MC $20000 [10-14] Commerce Bank Visa $2000 [3-15] Citi Double Cash $1000 [3-15]
Total CL: $90450

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