When it comes to getting your first credit card, there are many things that you will need to take into account. While your first credit card may very well be your first foray into the real world of adult finances, it probably will not be the best credit card you will ever own; but, it is perhaps the most important one. Balances may be a big draw when it comes to future credit cards. However, your first credit card may not have very high limits.
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Regardless of how big or how small that limit is, it is imperative that you guard how you use that balance. This is a learning process for most people and if you can resist thinking of a credit card, regardless of the credit limit, as free stuff, then you can build a solid foundation when it comes to the proper and responsible way to use credit. These lessons can be useful in avoiding a lot of trouble in the future.
How to Get Your First Credit Card
When it comes to getting your first credit card, it can be a lesson in frustration. Often, someone applying for their first credit card will have a rough road ahead of them. In most cases, a bank will typically ask you a few questions regarding your credit history.
However, if you are young person looking for your first credit card, you are probably not going to have any credit history to speak of.
This means that banks will have no information and they cannot respond positively to your credit application. In laymen’s terms, you are probably going to be denied if you apply for many cards unless you apply for a secured credit card or a student credit card.
While the whole thing may seem impossible to you, there are a few ways that you can secure your first credit card. The first way is to look for alternative forms of credit in order to build up your credit history. Department store cards or gas cards are a great way to get some much needed credit history. These fidelity cards are easier to get than bank sponsored credit cards. Take a few months with one of these alternative cards and make sure to keep your balances in check and manageable, then try to apply for a bank credit card.
The other way is to look for bank credit cards that are specifically created with the first time credit card user in mind. The downside to these cards is that they typically will not be the best possible deal. They will normally come with high interest rates, numerous fees and will generally have a very low credit limit.
What to Look for in Your First Credit Card
Gone are the days of banks taking a huge risk on your lack of credit history and your ability or willingness to pay back the money you owe. In the past, a first credit card would be one of the best deals you could imagine with high credit limits, low interest rates and a minimal amount of fees. Today, even people with the best of credit scores struggle to get this sort of card. However, simply because it is your first card, does not mean that the charging you outrageous rates is a forgone conclusion.
What you will want to look for first is a credit card with the lowest annual interest rate possible.
This will be or should be at the top of everyone’s list. Most first timers will not typically qualify for such a card, however, if you have some established credit history already with a department store credit card, gas card, or perhaps a small loan, you can be a bit more choosey when it comes to interest rates.
The second thing you will want to look for is a card with the fewest amounts of fees possible. For first time credit card users, the amount of fees that a bank can potentially charge is overwhelming. With over the limit fees, annual fees, maintenance fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, application fees, finance charges, and late fees, the list seemingly goes on and on. This can contribute to a credit card account becoming unmanageable. Once again, having a good credit history before applying will likely net you a card minus some of these fees, such as a monthly maintenance fee and application fee.
While the credit card balance may be important to some people, the truth is that a starting balance is not or should not be a motivating factor in the quality of your first credit card. Even with a small credit limit, over time, if you keep your account in good standing and pay your bills on time, then you will likely see an incremental increase in your credit limit as time goes by.
Important Things to Remember About Your first Credit Card
Finding the right credit card for your first credit card is important but what is more important is how you use that card. So often, a person can ruin their credit rating as well as their credit future by not managing a credit card properly. The most useful advice in this area might be not how to get a card or what to look for in a card, but how to use the card once you get one.
Many people will view a credit card as a license to get free stuff. It all seems harmless until the bill comes due. While this may not be reason to panic immediately, if you should miss a payment or two, which is not outside of the realm of possibilities, with the fees every card company charges for late payments and over the limit usage, you may find yourself in a very big, very deep hole.
That is where having the best possible card, coupled with some credit responsibility, will help you immensely.
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Minding your credit card balances, paying off your balances at the end of each month and finding the right first credit card with the best possible interest rate, and the least amount of fees will help you to avoid getting into deep trouble.
Getting that first credit card does not have to be difficult and it does not have to set a negative tone for the rest of your life’s credit dealings. With a little work, a little patience, and a level head regarding credit matters, you can establish a great credit history and you can educate yourself in matters of credit that will serve you well in future.
If you are looking for that first credit card, you can go online and find the right credit card for your particular needs. However, you may find yourself quickly overwhelmed by the hundreds of different types of cards, making it difficult to discern which company is giving you the best deal. We can help you with that, however; simply answer a few questions and we will do the heavy lifting for you. Use the credit card “Chaser” above now and we will find you various different credit card offers that meet your particular standard and then the choice will be up to you.
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