If you don’t have a job you may be wondering if you can still get a credit card while unemployed. The advice of many is often, “You have to build up your credit so down the road you can make major purchases at a cheaper interest rate.”
Building up your credit is done by getting credit cards, making payments, and handling your debt. But not everyone has the income to get approved for a credit card, so the question remains; can you get a credit card without a job? The answer is yes. There are many ways that you can get approved for a credit card if you don’t have a job.
Get a Secured Credit Card
Your first option is to get a secured credit card. A secured credit card is based on the security deposit you make. It is more like a savings account. You deposit a certain amount of money into your credit card account and that is the amount that you can spend. You are spending your own money, not really working on credit, but the establishment of credit will begin. Eventually, if you are responsible with your card, you can get an unsecured credit card.
The big caution with secured credit cards is this: there are typically a lot of fees and requirements that may not work to your advantage.
For example, most secured credit cards have monthly fees, start up fees, annual fees, fees to add an additional card holder, and cancellation fees. These fees will come out of your deposit first and the remaining balance is what you may use for purchases.
This means that if you make a deposit of $200 onto your secured credit card and your fees add up to $185, you only have $15 to spend on your card. Secured credit card companies know that if you are applying for a secured card, you cannot get credit another way. In a way, this puts you at their mercy, so they charge fees. Be sure to read all the fine print and fully understand how a secure credit card works before you sign the contract.
Applying With a Student Status
Another way that you can get approved for a credit card without a job is if you are a college student. Most credit card companies take into consideration that a student will have student loans to live on. Many students use their loans as a way to meet living expenses as well so a student application may ask you if you have student loan money coming in.
Many student credit card applications also require a co-signer. If a parent or guardian signs on as a joint card holder, the company will take into consideration their income as well. Student credit cards have many benefits. You can begin to establish credit before entering the job/housing market. Many cards also offer rewards that can be used towards purchasing textbooks, airline tickets home, or other school related products.
There are also student credit cards available that reward wise credit decisions such as paying off a monthly balance, staying well below your credit limit, and making payments online. These types of cards will lower your interest rate when you do these things for 3 months in a row. You are establishing credit while learning to handle credit responsibly. And that is the key, handling your credit irresponsibly as a student can lead to disastrous consequences when you graduate and get out into the real world.
Other Financial Resources
Having a job is not the only way to have income. You may not have a job, but if you have income from property, a trust fund, rights to something your created, etc, you can get approved for a credit card. Also, if you are married and don’t have a job, but your spouse does, you can put your spouse’s income for your total household income.
Even if you don’t have a steady stream of income, credit card companies will also look at the total amount of money you have available to you.
This includes checking and savings accounts. Many credit card companies combine this with income factors and co-sign options before they approve or deny your credit.
The best way to find a credit card that you may qualify for even if you don’t have a job is to shop around online. Though you probably get dozens of credit card offers every month in the mail, finding offers online gives you the time to read through the rules and regulations. When you compare offers side be side through a online comparison tool, you can see what options are available to you. You can use our free credit card comparison tool right now to compare cards and get your credit established!
- I have no credit history. Can I get a credit card?
- Where can I compare secured credit card options?
- Can I apply for more than one credit card at a time?
- What websites will allow me to compare secured credit cards?
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