Building credit through credit cards

12 Replies

Hello to all, I have a question about getting my first credit card. Im 19 years old and I want to get my first credit card to start building my credit. My question is, is it possible to get a credit card without a job, for example a credit card for college students(im in college which is why I don't have a job right now) or a store credit card like Target? Or do you recommend me to just co-sign to one of my moms credit cards?(she only has store credit cards) All info will be much appreciated! 

@Oswaldo Rodriguez

Capital one seems more liberal with applicants. If they turn you down, cosign with someone like you mentioned. 

Step 1: Find credit union.

Step 2: Walk in and apply for checking account. 

Step 3: Ask about secured credit card. 

Step 4: Add money to secured credit card.

Step 5: Setup online monthly auto pay the minimum. 

Step 6: Use credit card.

Step 7: Credit. 

The problem with other credit cards is most only report to 1 agency! So while my Experian score was great, my other 2 showed nothing! If you get a FHA loan they average your 2 highest scores... ouch!

A secured card from a credit union is designed to build credit, and thus should report to all 3 agencies. Ask to be sure. You need to build all 3 of your scores, not just 1!

Your welcome. Wish someone told me that [email protected]$% when I was your age. 

Thanks for all the info. Im a new to all of this and it's very confusing! Which credit union would you recommend? 

I know the Discover "it" credit card is advertised as a "student" card, which was my first credit card.  I sent in an application no questions asked, and was given a low credit limit, which was all I needed for the purpose of establishing a credit record and building credit.

Originally posted by @Oswaldo Rodriguez :

Thanks for all the info. Im a new to all of this and it's very confusing! Which credit union would you recommend? 

 That's step 1. Good luck. 

My first credit card, was a target card. Had no income but they still gave me I think 400 bucks. Though I had the 400 bucks saved, I maxed it out with an ipod at the time and made consitant payments paying more than minimum. after about 6 months when almost paid off I requested to bump up the credit to 1000 was accepted. Did the same with Best Buy card pretty much at the same time and repeated the process. Next thing I knew student credit card offers started coming in and the rest is history for me with loans from banks. It actually really got me started to access to money in college to start buying and flipping car actually when I was your age... Than again this was before a credit crises shook the nation..

Apply and keep debt low and keep asking to bump the amount of credit every 4-6 months even if its a couple hundred bucks at first. Next thing you know you can be out of college with excellent credit and start on the right path with banks for your adventures.

Good luck

Thanks Evan, i'll look more about the Discover it! Bud, I've been offer to open an account on Teachers Federal Credit Union but I just never understood the difference between a bank and a cu, until now that I searched for it.

Hey Oswaldo!

I have great credit and the credit cards you have access to do wonders. My favorite is the chase sapphire preferred because of the rewards points, and all the safeties. 

I too started with Discover, I wouldn't start with too many because as you want to build credit, the average of how long you kept all your credit cards will come into play. After building credit with one, look for certain rewards that suit your life, like a gas rewards credit card, air mileage, or just dining out. 

 I don't recommend store cards, unless you are a heavy shopper at Macy's or something, but hopefully you are saving money rather than spending at your age. Also, your student loans will help build credit so don't fret too much! 

If you have further questions to me, just use the @ and i'll reply when I can.

Originally posted by @Bud Leiser :

Step 1: Find credit union.

Step 2: Walk in and apply for checking account. 

Step 3: Ask about secured credit card. 

Step 4: Add money to secured credit card.

Step 5: Setup online monthly auto pay the minimum. 

Step 6: Use credit card.

Step 7: Credit. 

The problem with other credit cards is most only report to 1 agency! So while my Experian score was great, my other 2 showed nothing! If you get a FHA loan they average your 2 highest scores... ouch!

A secured card from a credit union is designed to build credit, and thus should report to all 3 agencies. Ask to be sure. You need to build all 3 of your scores, not just 1!

Your welcome. Wish someone told me that [email protected]$% when I was your age. 

 I 2nd this as I have done it. Only thing I would say different is don't carry a balance. Pay it off every month. Buy you a tank of gas or two every month and pay it off. Creditors want to see the ability to make payments on time. Not that you have a balance that you are having to pay interest on. Timely payments and you are good.

Bank Of America and Wells Fargo offers secured credit cards back by your bank account that the bank will transform into a regular after 1 or  2 years.  I am pretty sure many other banks, credit unions, and saving and loan probably offers these secured credit cards.  Also the student gasoline cards will help build your credit.  

I have researched credit building cards. The most important element is they should report to all three credit bureaus. All of the credit cards on my web site report to all three bureaus. Go to www.mycreditteam.com and click on the Credit Building link. The jewelers club card is expensive ($99 application paid if you are approved) but the upside is worth it since they will approve you for a $5,000 card. Typically this increases the client's score by over 30 points.


Becoming an authorized user on a parent's card it good IF they have never been late AND they routinely keep their balance to limit ratio low. They potential drawback is you forfeit control of the payment pattern and when you are ready to pull your credit you may be at the mercy of how much they owe. 

Discover It student credit card mentioned above is really a great option to start building credit. I would most definitely recommend signing up for it first. Some other alternative credit cards for students you can check:

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for college students. 

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