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Best credit card for 18 yr old with no credit history

Regular Contributor

Re: Best credit card for 18 yr old with no credit history

I second a few posts and have a few tips of my own:

 

  • become an authorized user, explain you don't want the card, only to boost your score. My bro got a 5000 cl chase card by being my AU. wait 30-60 days for your score to boost
  • try to get an amex open asap, the backdating they do when you open new accounts will help a lot later on, especially if you can add an account that covers the entire length of your history. i recommend s Zync, easiest to get approved and no limit so you can use it for real emergencies. It helps make swallowing a low limit card easier.
  • Choose a good bank for your first card so you don't end up closing your oldest card later, or not using it. I suggest a credit union. Bank of america and US bank were good to me, they never slashed my limit or raised my rates, its always been less than 12%. BOA customer service is not bad, they've refunded lates that have been honest mistakes (payment amount too low or one day late)
  • open no more than 2 accounts, you dont want all your eggs in one basket with just one, but you dont want too many accounts either.  I have 5 now, 3 i want to close because they suck. limits also took longer to grow and are still not huge because i have too many accounts.

In summary, become an authorized user, Get an Amex + one bank or credit union normal credit card, and be patient.

Message 11 of 18
Established Contributor

Re: Best credit card for 18 yr old with no credit history

I would go with wherever you bank. My first CC was with BOA (who was my bank at the time) and they instantly approved me with a CL of $600. After I had my BOA card, I applied with Capital One, Old Navy, and another BOA card. I had no problem getting approved after about 2-3 months of paying my BOA CC off in full.


Starting Score: 760
Current Score: 716 Equifax 754 TU 736 Experian
Goal Score: 760
Message 12 of 18
Valued Contributor

Re: Best credit card for 18 yr old with no credit history


mekmek86 wrote:

I second a few posts and have a few tips of my own:

 

  • become an authorized user, explain you don't want the card, only to boost your score. My bro got a 5000 cl chase card by being my AU. wait 30-60 days for your score to boost
  • try to get an amex open asap, the backdating they do when you open new accounts will help a lot later on, especially if you can add an account that covers the entire length of your history. i recommend s Zync, easiest to get approved and no limit so you can use it for real emergencies. It helps make swallowing a low limit card easier.
  • Choose a good bank for your first card so you don't end up closing your oldest card later, or not using it. I suggest a credit union. Bank of america and US bank were good to me, they never slashed my limit or raised my rates, its always been less than 12%. BOA customer service is not bad, they've refunded lates that have been honest mistakes (payment amount too low or one day late)
  • open no more than 2 accounts, you dont want all your eggs in one basket with just one, but you dont want too many accounts either.  I have 5 now, 3 i want to close because they suck. limits also took longer to grow and are still not huge because i have too many accounts.

In summary, become an authorized user, Get an Amex + one bank or credit union normal credit card, and be patient.


this is sound adviceSmiley Wink

Message 13 of 18
Regular Contributor

Re: Best credit card for 18 yr old with no credit history

A side note I would say there is no real reason to have more than one card with one bank unless it's like Amex where one is revolving and the other is charge. reward programs are usually just gimmicks that should really be seen as a bonus, not a reason to get anyone single card. I will say that when I was with Citibank having checking and credit with t hem was great because I got a gift are every few months, but in the grand scheme of things, juggling several cards for rewards of a hundred dollar gift card or a plane ticket every year or two usually isn't of advantage to a young person or student that doesn't have a ton of income.
Message 14 of 18
Contributor

Re: Best credit card for 18 yr old with no credit history


aamex wrote:

LS2982 wrote:

razorsedgenwo wrote:

What's the easiest credit card for an 18 yr old with no history to get approved for? Thanks!


Cap1, may have to get secured first.


-1 I wouldn't recommend CapOne, unless you're rebuilding. Their customer service is awful theres an even consensus of that.

I would recommend trying for student card with a bank or credit union you already have a Savings or Checkings relationship with.

Starting out right is the most important thing, because your first account will always be your oldest so you want to make sure its credit that is mutually beneficially. You're doing the bank a favor by using their credit card and keeping a good relationship by paying on time so in return you should get quality customer service, a reasonable APR, timely credit limit increases, rewards, etc. (Whatever it is that you're looking for).


Added:
Do not apply for more than one card. You're just starting out, so all you need is one. Once you get the hang of managing it, great, let it age. The older an account is the better it is for your score.  I would put 6-18 months between apping again. Only apply for credit you need. 


In general I'd be the LAST person on earth to stand up for Cap One, however in this case the OP is trying to build credit. That's really what Cap One is for. They aren't for people who have or can get prime cards in that case you are 100% correct it would be pointless. But if you can get a secured or subprime card with them you can build your credit and move on. Many years ago Cap One was my first credit card - it was a secured card and after about a year of using it I was able to move on to better.

 

And about their customer "service", yeah, amen brother, they put the "vice" in service. There is probably worse out there, but Cap One is the worst I've personally dealt with. I could write a chapter in a book detailing the nonsense with them. The thing is, the OP won't have to deal with them forever (thankfully).

FICOS 2/2012 EQ: 763 TU: 761 EX: 746 (1/2012 EX)
Cards: Associated Bank Visa 9000, Paypal Mastercard 3000, Amazon Store card 1100, Barclays Apple Financing 2500, Cap One Rewards Mastercard 3000
Message 15 of 18
Valued Contributor

Re: Best credit card for 18 yr old with no credit history

 


aamex wrote:

LS2982 wrote:

razorsedgenwo wrote:

What's the easiest credit card for an 18 yr old with no history to get approved for? Thanks!


Cap1, may have to get secured first.


-1 I wouldn't recommend CapOne, unless you're rebuilding. Their customer service is awful theres an even consensus of that.

I would recommend trying for student card with a bank or credit union you already have a Savings or Checkings relationship with.

Starting out right is the most important thing, because your first account will always be your oldest so you want to make sure its credit that is mutually beneficially. You're doing the bank a favor by using their credit card and keeping a good relationship by paying on time so in return you should get quality customer service, a reasonable APR, timely credit limit increases, rewards, etc. (Whatever it is that you're looking for).


Added:
Do not apply for more than one card. You're just starting out, so all you need is one. Once you get the hang of managing it, great, let it age. The older an account is the better it is for your score.  I would put 6-18 months between apping again. Only apply for credit you need. 


Disagree. Now days pretty much any bank will not issue you a CC without any history. Cap 1 gave me a CC when CU and bank I have relationship with refuse to issue a CC to me. Give Cap 1 a chance.

Message 16 of 18
New Member

Re: Best credit card for 18 yr old with no credit history

go for a Bank of America securred card -over time it will unsecure and the limit will grow.  Don't go with Cap One, your limit will be small forever.

Message 17 of 18
Valued Contributor

Re: Best credit card for 18 yr old with no credit history


cranston3 wrote:

go for a Bank of America securred card -over time it will unsecure and the limit will grow.  Don't go with Cap One, your limit will be small forever.


True but any CC you get first will have small limit. You can always fire them once you have better mix of CC.

Message 18 of 18