Q: I'm interested in getting my first credit card. I've applied for several, but have been turned down simply because I have no credit rating. How do I get a credit rating? I asked around about secured credit cards, but none of the local banks seem to offer them. Any other ideas? The reasons I want a credit card are for protection of my purchases and so I can rent cars (not cats!) on occasion.
A: -Start with a store card (you can't go into Penney's Sears, or Fashion Bug without being accosted ). I have no job, no income, no separate credit rating, yet got a $500 Fashion Bug card with no questions asked (even though I SAID, "I have no job, no income. . ." to the clerk AND on the application. Use it a couple of times, paying it per the agreement, THEN apply for a bank card. -Yep, clothing, one step above WalMart. Prices are decent, sales are outstanding (Buy 1 get 1 free). Classics and (mostly) trendy stuff. Plus sizes, menswear. -You needn't limit yourself to local banks if you're looking for a product. A secured card is a good idea because, since there's little risk for the creditor due to your cash deposit, you're more than likely to get one. Just make sure you pay it off regularly (hopefully in full). Then after a reasonable period of time (maybe 6 months to allow the info to get into your credit report?), apply for the unsecured card. -My hubby and I went to the bank where we had our checking account and applied for a personal loan of 500.00. Since we had more than that in our account and he was in the military, they gave it to us. We then took the 500, put it in a savings account, and paid the loan back with it over a period of 8 months (it was a 12 month loan). Based on that, we were able to get a credit card from Chevy Chase. For something to go on your credit sheet, you usually have to make at least six payments-- pay a little over the minimum, and make sure it gets there 2 days early, if you can. -It might pay to double check that they don't have you mixed up with someone else. You say that this is your first credit card.... Are you under 18? You may be able to get a family member "sponsor" you on a jointly held card. Companies also seem to fall all over each other trying to sign up college students. If you are a student you might call and ask for student orient programs. -You might want to start out buying something on credit - that is to say, paying instalments - from a store that will check your credit beforehand (basically, they confirm that yes, you have income ;) and that will report back to the credit agencies how you've done afterward. When we moved into our new apartment, the landlady ran a credit check, and my report had 5 entries: 1. An entry from a store where I bought something on credit 5 or 6 years ago (wow!) 2-4. 3 entries from department store credit cards I've never even used. 5. The entry from the one mainstream credit card I do use. All were listed as "Satisfactory" which meant I had a perfect credit rating (insert dance of joy here :) When I made that store purchase, I was single, in my very early 20's, living with my folks, making about $7.50 an hour. You don't have to buy something *huge* to prove that you're a good "credit risk." Just buy something and make the payments on time - or ahead of time - and you'll establish your reputation. -I second that. When I was considering a secured card First Consumer's fees were the most reasonable. Of course, a lot of things may have changed since. What you probably do NOT want to do is getting a gasoline card. I was told they do not get reported to the credit agancies and thus don't help you to bbuild the credit history. Another option may be a credit union if you balong to one. I got my first card from the CU.
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