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Compare credit cards for no credit
Good news: You have many cards to choose from.
If you want a credit card but have no credit history, you’re in luck. In fact, there are plenty of options — as long as you limit your search mostly to secured and student cards. In some cases, you can apply with providers that have proprietary methods to screen applicants with no credit.
Our pick for a card if you're new to credit
Citi® Secured Mastercard®Read more
Compare credit cards for no credit
What is considered no credit?
If you have no credit, it means you have no history on your credit report.
Your credit report is a record that shows information such as your debt, payment history and how long you’ve had credit accounts. If you haven’t borrowed money — for example, through a loan or credit card — you won’t have a credit history.
A credit history is important because it’s similar to a report card. It’s something lenders can use to judge how reliable of a borrower you are. If you have no credit, you’re a question mark to lenders, and they’ll be more hesitant to accept you as a customer.
How to start building credit
To start building credit, get some activity on your credit report. You can open a credit card, for example, and consistently make on-time payments on your purchases. Or you could get a credit-builder loan.
Make sure your lender reports your activity to the three major US credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. After at least six months of credit activity, you’ll get a credit score.
The aim is to eventually build a good credit score — at least 670 for your FICO score. This gives you the opportunity to apply for more valuable credit cards and get better interest rates on loans.
How credit cards can help you build credit
One of the best ways to beef up your credit report is by opening a credit card.
Look for a product that’s available to someone new to credit — such as a secured card. As you spend with your card and pay your card bill on time, your provider will report your positive payment activity to the credit bureaus. Eventually, you’ll get a credit score. And as you continue being a responsible cardholder, you’ll steadily see your score rise.
Types of credit cards for no credit
You’ll want to apply for credit cards you have a good chance of being approved for. These include:
- Secured credit cards.
A secured card requires an upfront deposit — typically at least $200. While the deposit is a bummer, you’ll have many secured cards to choose from.
- Student credit cards.
These can be great options if you’re enrolled in a college or university. Most student credit cards don’t require security deposits, unlike secured cards.
- Business credit cards for no credit.
If you’re a business owner, you might want this type of card to separate your personal and business expenses. While you’re mostly limited to secured cards, you might also want to consider a line of credit such as the The Kabbage Card.
Unsecured cards for no credit
But when you have no credit history many unsecured cards will currently be out of reach. Beware of unsecured cards that seem easily available to you, as they may come with very high fees and interest. Before applying for a card, dig around for its fee table to see what you might pay.
You might see an unsecured card and jump at the chance to apply. But a closer look at its fee table may reveal extremely high fees and interest rates.
If you have no credit, there are plenty of good credit cards to start with. As you make card payments on time, you’ll steadily build your credit score. With a strong score, you can apply for better credit cards, including cashback and travel products.
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