How to Get Credit When You Have No Credit

Having established a credit history is a critical part of personal finance. With established credit, an individual can purchase a car or a home. A very common question asked is how to get credit when you have no credit? It can be very challenging to establish the first line of credit. Some people think it is tough to obtain a credit card with no credit. This is simply not true.

How to get credit when you have no credit card

There are three main ways a person can get a credit card without having any prior credit history. Secured credit cards, student cards, and department store credit cards are ways in which a person can establish credit. In this article, we will explain how a person can apply for credit in each of these three categories.

Do not apply for too many credit cards. Any time individuals without established credit apply for credit cards for good credit, they will get denied. The unfortunate consequence of applying for a credit card would be a hard pull credit inquiry on your credit file. Having too many hard pulls on your credit file will prevent you from getting credit cards that have easier credit approval policies.

Credit card companies today often show a person what type of credit is needed to get approved for a particular credit card. Often this information is listed near the name of the credit card offer.

How to Get Credit When You Have No Credit with Student Credit Cards

Student cards are the best way for young people who are in college to get a credit card. Most of these college student credit cards are major credit cards with no annual fee. In most cases, a student needs to prove they are attending college. Students experience difficulties in getting approved for a student credit card when they have too many credit inquiries. The student can either wait six months or more to try and apply again, or they can apply for a secured credit card.

Popular Issuers of Student Credit Cards – Citibank, Capital One, and Discover Card

how to get credit when you have no credit - first credit card

How to Get Credit When You Have No Credit with Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards have easy credit card approval because a person will secure their credit card account against default with money they deposit. Often, the credit line is equal to the amount of money deposited. On-time payment history is required to receive your deposit back.

It is important to review each secured credit card application thoroughly. Many secured credit cards have high fees associated with them. Always read the fine print of every secured credit card offer. Credit Fast recommends The Discover it® Secured Credit Card or the Secured MasterCard® from Capital One®.

Popular Issuers of Secured Credit Cards – Discover Card and Capital One

How to Get Credit When You Have No Credit With Department Store Credit Cards

Many credit card articles written never write about department store credit cards. In general, some of the easiest credit cards to get approved for are ones that are issued by department stores. Normally, it is simpler to get approved for a store card than it is to get approved for a major credit card. The important thing to know is you cannot apply for just any department store credit card. Department stores like JCPenney will sometimes send pre-approved credit offers in the mail to people with no established credit history.

Another way to get a department store credit card is through the shopping cart trick. Basically, a person goes to the website of certain stores to obtain credit cards. As the name suggests, there is a trick to it. A person needs to follow a few simple steps. A Pre-approved credit card offer appears once all the steps are followed. When done correctly, no hard pull will appear on a person’s credit file. This is an excellent way to receive credit without receiving a credit inquiry.

Department store credit limits between $300 and $500 are approved for people with no credit. These credit limits will increase over time if a person makes regular on-time monthly payments. Store cards are one of the best ways to establish credit, and they have no annual fees.

Basically how to get credit when you have no credit is to follow one of the three steps above. Once you receive a credit card(s) always pay your bill on time to establish positive credit history. In six short months you will begin to see that you have now established credit history and your credit score will start to grow.

Establish a Secure Installment Loan With No Credit

Installment loans are different than credit cards on your credit file. Having a mix of credit trade accounts is good. This is called a credit mix, and it accounts for ten percent of your overall credit score. A good credit mix for beginners would be three credit cards and one installment loan. Having an established installment loan in good standing can help in securing other installment loans at favorable interest rates, such as car loans. We recommend Self Lender because it suited for people with no credit or bad credit, and there is no hard pull performed in the application process. One of our staff members used this service and found the process straightforward and easy. Your credit score is provided free so that you can track your progress. In this one real life case, our colleague found no customer service issues, and Self Lender fulfilled all their promises stated on their site.

Reviews of the Best Secured Card Offers With Applications

Capital One ® Secured MasterCard ®Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Citi® Secured Mastercard®OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
CreditFast Top Picks - Listed above are credit cards to build good credit. These are the best credit card offers for people who have less than perfect credit or no established credit. The credit cards listed have much lower fees compared to other major credit cards in the secured credit category.

CreditFast has reviewed the best secured credit cards on the market. Some of the credit card offers are from our advertising partners. CreditFast has objectively reviewed the features and benefits of each secured credit card. We have chosen credit card offers based on our editor’s recommendations.

Monica Kowollik

Director at
Monica has covered credit card and personal finance news for over 15 years. From an early age, she developed an interest in financial literacy and saving money. Monica hopes to help others to improve their personal finances one article at a time.

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