How to Get Credit When You Have None

When you’re just starting out on your credit journey, it can be pretty confusing. You may not be approved for a credit card because you don’t have any credit history, but you can’t establish credit history without a credit card. So, what are you supposed to do at that point? The CGS Team is sharing 4 ways to get credit when you have none, or you’re just starting out. Establishing credit takes time, so start slow and always remember to pay your bills on time!

How to get credit when you have none

Secured Cards

Secured cards are credit cards that are backed by your own money. For example, your credit limit may be $300, but before you are approved, you have to put up the $300 as security in case you don’t pay. Secured cards are a great way to start establishing good credit habits. Typically after one year you are eligible to be reviewed for an unsecured (normal) credit card, and you get your money back!

Personal or Auto Loans (with a co-signer)

Similar to secured cards, auto loans are secured because they are guaranteed by the vehicle. If you don’t make your payments, the lender can take your vehicle as payment. Auto loans are more likely to get without a co-signer because they are secured. However, personal loans are not secured, but your chances of approval are much higher with a co-signer with their own good credit history.

Retail Credit Cards

Gas and department store cards are much easier to get than regular bank credit cards. When you’re just starting out on your credit journey, going the retail credit card route can be beneficial. The only hiccup with these cards is that they often come with much higher interest rates. Be sure to pay your bill in full each month to avoid getting hit.

Start with Your Bank

If none of the above options work out for you, start with your bank. If you’ve maintained your money well (no overdrafting), ask your bank what you can do to start establishing your credit history. They may be more likely to work with you, even if it’s just a secured card, because they know your money habits. Make sure to use your debit card when you can, as it shows your ability to manage a card.

Related: 5 Ways to Manage Credit Like a Pro

Building credit history doesn’t happen overnight, so try to be patient. Take the necessary steps you can today so that you are setting yourself up for a great financial future! What was your first credit card or loan experience? Have you ever tried a secured card? Leave a comment below to share your experiences!

-The CGS Team



1 thought on “How to Get Credit When You Have None”

  1. Student credit cards are also a good option. My first credit card was a Student Visa through Wells Fargo. I got about a month into my first year of college, and it’s my longest open card. They kept raising the balance on me at the time, so be careful!

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