October 10th, 2012

Facebook Question: I’ve Never Had a Credit Card – How Do I Build Credit?

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get credit card

In the spirit of Credit Karma community, we decided to crowdsource the answer to a question asked in the Credit Advice Center this week. First, here’s the question:

“I’ve never had a credit card, so it’s hard to get one. I’m no longer a student, so what should I do? I tried applying for a credit card when I was a student, but was denied because I never had credit. I had a student loan that I paid off right away, but I still don’t know what to do. I need to build credit so I can eventually get a mortgage, but I’m stumped on where to start.”

Here are a few of the best responses from Facebook:

Start Small

“You could go to your bank and get a secured credit card. Basically, you deposit the amount you want your limit to be. This minimizes the risk for the bank and it’s an easy way to get your credit going.” (Jaime)

“Try a department store credit card. Build on that. Then, you will be able to get a major credit card in about six months to a year.” (Christopher)

“In rebuilding my credit I began with Orchard Bank’s secured MasterCard. About two years later I applied for a credit card at Capital One and was approved for a $750 unsecured card. After a few months and a few purchases paid off quickly, they boosted me to $1,250.” (Stephen)

“I established credit with a $1,000 secured credit card through my credit union. After a year, my security was returned and the card was converted to a regular credit card. I also pay of the balance every payday (2x/month) so I never get charged interest and I never have to remember due dates.” (Aleishia)

Proceed With Caution

“…I highly recommend using it exclusively on things like groceries or gasoline—items that aren’t splurges and that you’re unlikely to purchase more of just because you’re paying with a credit card instead of cash/debit—and then pay off in full at the end of every month. I also recommend using exclusively credit for internet purchases.” (Jessica)

Stay away from department store/retail cards. Get a secured credit card from a credit union or bank. Then keep your utilization at or below 15%.” (Jerome)

No Credit Needed

“Don’t do it. Pay cash or don’t buy.” (Jarod)

“Run for the hills!! You’re too young to be wanting a credit card.” (Lisa)

Do you agree with the responses? What advice would you give? Head over to our Credit Advice Center to add your two cents!

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  1. The best thing to do is to keep the balance low – and as Jessica suggested – only use it on things like groceries and gasoline. The most important thing to do is to make the payments on time. Your credit rating is largely comprised of your ability to keep your debt low and manage your payments in a timely manner. Another tip – don’t make the minimum payment. You will accrue more interest over time and paying more than the minimum reflects better on your credit report.

    My Credit Classroom at 7:41 am on October 12, 2012
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    creating a robust business credit report that gives lenders and suppliers quality information about your company and boosts your ability to obtain loans, increase credit lines and earn more favorable credit terms.

    diksha at 10:14 pm on July 11, 2013

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