Do They Verify Your Status ?
Q: Is there a no-fee secured credit card? application problem ? do they verify your status ? I am asking this question on behalf of a friend who is a recent immigrant. Since he has no credit history, I advised him to apply for a secured card. He got a few offers but all have annual fees ranging from $20 to $60 (half of which charge an additional application fee). Since he intends to pay in full every month, he wants to know if there are any secured cards that charge neither an application fee nor an annual fee. Anyone can help?
A: -Not likely. No-fee cards are generally reserved for those who have a good credit history. However, I would not advise that your friend apply for a secured card UNLESS he is turned down for an unsecured card. Unsecured cards are almost always better deals, and of course they are unsecured. Your friend could also build up a credit history (I assume he has a job) by applying for department store and gas cards, using them, and paying them on time. After a year or so he should have a decent enough credit history to get an unsecured Visa or MasterCard. -Getting a Visa or other card is very easy. I have never met anyone that's been turned down when applying for a credit card for the first time, accept for Discover for some reason. The trick in getting a credit card is to go to your local college or university. Walk around campus and you will probably find a student offering to help you fill out credit card applications in return for a gift such as a cheap pair of sun glasses, candy, or some such thing. The idea is to apply as a student. Credit card companies generally regard students as individual pots of gold who will probably charge up a storm on their cards so they are willing to risk the fact that students have no credit history. Just play the game and say you're a student. Since student records are totally confidential at any reputable college or university, these credit card people must take you at your word when you say you are a student. Besides, aren't we all students of the school of hard knocks anyway?