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Life without credit cards is practically impossible. These pieces of plastics are the most effective tools to establish credit history which has an impact on virtually all facets of life. Getting the right credit card the first time around can be a very challenging task, but it is worth investing your time and effort to find the right one since it is a stepping stone for a better financial future. There are many ways in which you can get that elusive first card.
If you are a student then there are a plethora of student credit cards that you can choose from. Though in the past most of the banks were more than eager to cater to this segment, today, thanks to the CARD act, getting this type of credit card is also slightly challenging. Students below the age of 21 either have to get one of their parents to co-sign on the form or they have to show sufficient proof of income to show their repayment ability. Students above the age of 21 can take a pick from the card offers being made by lenders based on the most favorable terms and conditions.
Another way of obtaining your first credit card is by approaching the bank with whom you have been banking for years. If you have a savings or checking account with a particular bank and you have managed your money wisely without any check returns or other such blemishes, your bank will be more than willing to offer you one of their credit cards.
Gas station credit cards or store credit cards are other options you can consider for your first credit card. However, the terms and conditions and the interest rates on these cards are much higher than the cards offered by banks and credit unions. Hence, it is advisable not to apply for them unless you have tried all the other alternatives and failed.
The best option for people without any credit history is to apply for a secured credit card. The secured credit card is also the easiest to obtain. However, applicants need to pay a certain amount as collateral to get a particular credit limit on the card. All transactions on this card are promptly reported to the credit bureaus, thereby helping you establish a credit history. Make sure you use this card wisely, make your payments on time and also do not exceed your credit limit. This good behavior will help you create an enviable credit history that can be very useful in the future.