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How to Get a Credit Card With No Credit

How to Get a Credit Card With No Credit
Written by Publishing Team

Building credit with a credit card can seem like an uphill battle when you’re not sure where to start. After all, you have to show lenders that you are responsible for the money you borrow in order to access credit, but not many lenders will take a chance on you without a credit score and a track record of payments on time and responsible use. Talk about a frustrating problem to deal with.

While most credit card issuers will reject borrowers who don’t have a credit history, the good news is that not having a credit score doesn’t automatically mean you can’t get a credit card. There are certain types of credit card products geared toward borrowers who have a limited credit history or no credit history at all. These credit card products work similarly to regular credit cards and are usually the first step to building a strong credit history that lenders can trust. Here’s how to get a credit card with no credit.

Get a credit card without a credit history

When you don’t have a credit history, you don’t have anything on your credit report to show that you had access to credit at all – which means lenders can’t tell if you qualify for credit because they don’t have information on which to base that decision . You don’t have a low score – you don’t have a grade at all. So, you are basically starting from scratch to build credit from the ground up.

Having no credit score is very different from having a bad credit score when it comes to borrowing money. A bad or low credit score shows lenders that you have misused credit products in the past, and therefore you may not be liable for the money they loaned you. This can hinder opening credit card accounts because lenders will have to worry that you will default on your account, make late payments – or exhibit other imperfect credit behavior.

While not having a credit history can make getting a credit card more difficult, it is more ideal for the situation than overcoming a bad credit history. The main goal when starting from scratch in your credit is to get a credit card and prove to lenders that you can use the money you borrow responsibly. If you make purchases, pay your bill on time, and avoid going over the card limit, you’ll be well on your way to building a strong credit history without flaws.

However, getting a credit card that builds credit can sometimes be easier said than done. If you don’t have a credit score, major lenders won’t approve you for the best credit cards on the market. You’ll have to start with credit products that are unique to your situation – and they may not come with the same kinds of perks you get with a top-tier credit card.

However, these credit cards will help you build credit, so it is definitely worth the time and effort to get a card. Here are some card options you may have.

Credit Card Options Without Credit

If you don’t have a credit score, you need to target the right types of credit cards. Otherwise, you will likely face rejection of your application. Your options for getting a credit card without balance include:

Start card or secured credit card

Secured credit cards are one of the best credit card options when you are trying to create credit because they are geared towards people who do not have credit points. These cards work like regular credit cards – you borrow money from a lender, swipe to make purchases, and then pay off the money either in full or at interest over time.

The main difference is that you have to make a security deposit to get a secured credit card. The amount you put into the security deposit will usually return to you and will almost always be equal to your credit limit. For example, if you deposit $1,000 on a secured credit card, you will typically have a credit limit of $1,000.

And just as you would with a regular credit card, you will receive a bill each month for what you spent in the previous billing cycle on your secured credit card. But you do not use the security deposit to pay the bill. You pay that money back to the lender each month in one of the ways the lender makes available. With a secured card, the lender keeps your security deposit in case you default. It is not a substitute for your monthly payments.

However, the lender does not keep your security deposit forever. In almost all cases, a secured credit card deposit is refundable after a certain period of time – or when your card is closed – as long as your account is in good standing. If you default, the credit card issuer keeps your deposit.

Many major card issuers will offer these types of secured cards to customers who do not qualify for a typical credit card. Some will require credit checks and some will not, but the application process is the same as if it were. You apply for approval, and your card is opened after you deposit your security deposit to the lender. These cards also report to credit bureaus every month – just like a regular credit card.

Some lenders will also offer beginning cards, or unsecured cards with lower limits and higher interest rates, to borrowers without credit scores. Beginner card options are usually limited to certain types of student credit cards or other similar card options, but if you do some research, you may be able to find a lender that offers this type of card without a security deposit.

Get added as an authorized user

Another option for you to get a credit card without credit is to become an authorized user of someone else’s credit card account. You do not need any credit to become an authorized user, but you will need to ask a friend or family member with good credit and access to credit products to add you to their account. If they agree to do so, you will get a credit card linked to their account – and can be used just like any other credit card.

The big difference between your authorized user account and your credit card account is that you don’t rely on your credit profile for a credit card. You are using the other person’s on-time payments and responsible credit card history to add to the credit card account instead.

Doing so will help you build your credit score, and will also give you access to better credit products than you would otherwise have without a credit score. The main downside to this option is that it can be difficult to convince someone else to add you to their credit card account, because – not you – they will be legally responsible for the fees you incur.

However, it is important to understand the agreement between you and the main account holder if you go this route. Authorized user accounts can become fixed very quickly if there is no payment plan in place with the other party, so be sure to iron out the details before adding you to the account or using the card.

Store Credit Card

Store credit cards, or cards that are restricted to use at a particular retail store, may also be available to you without a credit score. Many people use these cards to build credit as a pathway to other types of credit cards.

Unlike secured cards, you will not need to make a security deposit on a store card in most cases. These cards are almost always unsecured, which means that the lender gives you a credit card limit based on your credit score and financial picture – not based on your security deposit.

However, the limits on these cards are usually much lower than what you’d get with a regular credit card – and they’re also limited in their scope. You can only use them at stores linked to cards, and the interest rates tend to be a little higher than they would otherwise.

You usually apply for these cards the same way you would any other credit card. You will need to provide the lender with your information, either in-store or online, and the issuer will make a decision based on the information you provide.

last thoughts

Getting a credit card without a balance doesn’t have to be impossible. There are ways to get credit cards without a credit score – but you’ll have to do some research to determine which path is best for you. And with responsible use, your new credit card will help you build a solid credit foundation that will give you access to the kinds of credit products you want or need in the future—which is worth any hassle you might encounter while applying for credit cards with No Credit.

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