As per the law, you need to be at least 18 years old in order to get a credit card. Unfortunately though, a lot of banks and some financial institutions are hesitant to offer cards to first time applicants. They are apprehensive about the lack of a credit report and also because teenagers and first time card holders tend to overspend than what they can afford. However, there is also some good news for first time applicants. There are other options to obtain your first credit card. You have to ensure you use it wisely so you can get better cards as you gain experience and create a good credit report.
Opting for student credit card as you first card is a wise choice to make. Not only are banks more than eager to provide students with their own credit cards, but they also offer slightly lower interest rates on them and most of the student cards come with some excellent promotional offers that can work in your favor. However, the key is to choose the right credit card company because though there are a few that offer some great features and benefits to students, there are a few other that treat them as easy preys. Hence, make a well informed choice.
Another easy way of getting your first credit card is by opting for it from the bank where you hold your checking or savings account. However, this will work in your favor only if you have been a good customer with no check returns. Maintaining a minimum balance consistently without emptying your account also will work in your favor if you apply for the card from the same bank.
There is another way as well to get your first credit card and create a good repayment history. There are many departmental stores and gas stations that offer credit cards to people. Consider applying for one of them. The chances of your application getting approved are high since they do not need any supporting documents. However, on the flip side, you will have to be prepared to pay more since the rate of interest on these cards are always on the higher end of the price spectrum.
Finally, you can also consider applying for a secured credit card. When you apply for these cards, you will have to make a small payment as a security deposit against the card. If you do not meet the repayment guidelines, the banks will use the money in the security deposit to clear off your debts.