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If you've never applied for any form of credit so far, you must be wondering where to begin. Along with the standard requirements for beginners such as being of age, having a Social Security Number and some income, there are others you possibly didn't know about. These are actually your homework and proactive steps to increase chances for the lender's approval. Let's make a brief review of them.
Before you start exploring the large market of beginners credit cards, it makes sense to check your credit report. Use AnnualCreditReport.com to request your file free of charge. As you do not have any payment records yet, you may find nothing coming under your name, but that's of second importance. The major task is to make sure that nobody else has fraudulently used your name, SSN or other private information to apply for credit cards or other loans.
Unfortunately, it is a widely used practice among internet fraudsters to steal your personal data for easily making financial transactions which they otherwise would not be able to do. If you find something not associated with your personal financial activity, do not lose time - take action to clear it up and erase all the mistakes before you apply. The longer the negative info rests on your credit report, the harder it is to deal with.
As you get it all corrected, analyze any other data contained in your file. Check if your income, job, address and other details are reported properly. Then, you are ready for a contract with a bank or card company.
In most cases credit cards for beginners do require some payment or money management experience, which makes it reasonable to open a saving or checking account with the bank you plan to deal with. You do not need to run a large sum of money, just give the potential lender a sign of financial consciousness and stability.
If you need a card urgently, without having to establish saving/checking account, there are some offers for beginners that were not available before. These are special low limit deals from Capital One, some student cards and prepaid credit cards - all applications activated on our website.
The lack of financial experience makes finding and getting a beginners credit card a big challenge, especially if it is not secured, carries low APRs, no set up and no annual fees. The credit crunch made issuers more careful and choosy about new customers, so those who did obtain some financial records are evidently luckier.
Assuming that you failed to get approved, we'd highlight a number of standard methods to obtain your first-time credit, others than applying for a major bank card.
If one of your parents, relatives or close friends has a solid credit history, ask them to authorize you as an additional user on their good account. It will reflect in your own file as if you had favorable records without you ever using the line actually.
If it is not an option, consider a secured credit card which carries no risk to the lender and so is easier to qualify for. With its major drawback of requiring the applicant to open a security deposit, it is best for beginner's credit history if it reports his payment activity to the national bureaus.
Whichever rout you go, do your homework. Make the major document, your credit report, attractive for the lender.