Getting your first credit card is exciting. Of course, it’s also important to know what to expect with the process. You should also know what you need in order to get a credit card.
What are the Basic Criteria for Getting a Credit Card?
Before you even attempt applying for a credit card, it’s important to pass the basic criteria to have one. You must be at least 18 years of age and have enough income to afford to make payments toward your credit card usage.
Many people who apply for credit for the first time start off small such as with a store credit card or a secured credit card. However, it’s possible to qualify for a regular credit card even as a freshman in college. You will want to look into cards that are ideal for first-time credit cardholders who have little to no credit history.
What Should You Know When Choosing Your First Credit Card?
It’s important to look for a credit card that has high approval odds, especially when it’s your first card. This can help you to begin to build your credit and work up to a good credit score. You can search online for cards that are recommended for you based on your credit history, even if it’s limited. Some websites will tell you what your approval odds are on the cards that are generated. According to the experts at SoFi Invest, going with one that has no annual fee is beneficial.
Steps to Getting a Credit Card
There are certain steps to take when you want to get your first credit card. They include the following:
- Check your credit report: Whether you have no known credit history or have only just started building your credit, it’s important to check online for your credit report. There are various sources you can check to access your report and see your credit score. It can help you get an idea of which credit cards you might want to apply for, and that might have good approval odds.
- Consider what you want: Even with a first-time credit card, there are options available to you. You might be able to get a rewards card or one that has no annual fee. However, you should weigh out your options. Do you prefer a card with no fee or one that offers you certain rewards?
- Compare a few different cards: Never apply for the first credit card you see, even if it’s the first offer you get. Instead, you should compare a few different cards to see which one might have the best odds for you and that best suits your needs. You might want to consider a starter credit card. Secured cards are also ideal for first-time credit users as they rely on a deposit of your own money. You can start with a smaller credit limit and then work your way up as you use the card responsibly.
- Always read the fine print: You should know all the terms and conditions of any credit card you are considering. This can prevent you from being surprised later on.
- Apply for one card at a time: Avoid the temptation to apply for multiple credit cards at once. This can be a trap and can damage your credit. It can also adversely affect your ability to be approved for a card. Start with one card and then see where things go from there. If you aren’t approved for the first card, you might be approved for the next.
Once you have settled on a credit card, you can begin the application process. Applying online is the best option as it gets all your information to the credit issuer at once. If you’re approved, the approval can also happen much faster than if you apply any other way. Also, if you’re approved, you can expect to receive your new card in the mail within seven to 10 business days.