Best Starter Credit Cards For People With No Credit That Will Help Build Credit

Best Starter Credit Cards for No Credit That Will Help Build Credit

starter credit cards for No CreditFor many new cardholders, building credit from scratch can feel like an uphill battle, especially if you have no credit history. And finding the best starter cards can be a little overwhelming.  However, keep in mind that the right starter credit card can help you establish a solid credit foundation.  So its well worth the effort to research which card (or cards) are best for your credit situation.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore:

  • how you can get a credit card without any credit
  • how to find the best credit card for your needs,
  • and the key features to look for in a starter credit card.

Additionally, we’ll delve into how a credit card can help you build credit quickly and examine various types of starter credit cards, including unsecured credit cards (no deposit required), credit cards for college students, and secured card options.

At the end of this guide we will answer some frequently asked questions about starter credit cards we got from our mailing list readers.

Good Debt and Bad Debt

Many people aim to be debt-free, believing it to be the ultimate financial goal. While it’s essential to avoid accumulating bad debt, not all debt is detrimental. Good debt can be a valuable tool for building wealth and achieving financial goals.

good and bad debtGood debt typically includes loans that are investments in your future, such as:

  • student loans
  • mortgages
  • and business loans

These types of debt generally have lower interest rates and the potential for a high return on investment. For example, a mortgage allows you to buy a home, which can appreciate in value over time, and student loans can lead to higher earning potential through education.

Conversely, bad debt often involves borrowing money to purchase depreciating assets or to cover everyday expenses without a clear plan for repayment.

This includes:

  • high-interest credit card debt
  • payday loans
  • and car loans for expensive vehicles that lose value quickly

Bad debt can trap you in a cycle of high-interest payments and financial stress, making it harder to achieve your financial goals.

high interest rate loansUnderstanding Why People With No Credit History Typically Get Offered High-Interest Rate Loans and Credit Cards

You might wonder why a bank wants to give you a high-interest rate loan if you have little to no credit. You would think that banks would be eager to lend you money since you have no outstanding debt.

The key reason is risk management. With no credit history, the bank has no way of assessing how reliably you will repay your loan.

Your credit history and how it effects your credit score

Credit history serves as a track record that shows lenders your borrowing behavior, including your ability to make timely payments. Without this history, banks classify you as a high-risk borrower because they lack the necessary information to predict your creditworthiness.

credit history

To protect their investors and minimize potential losses, banks compensate for this uncertainty by charging higher interest rates. These higher rates serve as a safeguard against the risk associated with lending to someone with no proven credit history.

Building a credit history, therefore, is essential not just for accessing credit, but for securing loans with favorable terms and lower interest rates in the future.

By responsibly managing good debt and establishing a solid credit history, you can demonstrate your reliability as a borrower, ultimately achieving financial health and better loan options.

Why does credit history matter?

Your credit history is a record of how you’ve managed debt over time, and it plays a significant role in many aspects of your financial life. Here’s why starting to build credit immediately is essential:

Access to Loans and Credit

As we stated above, your credit history is a key factor that lenders consider when you apply for loans or credit cards. A strong credit history that shows that you are in good standing with your current lenders, can make it easier to get approved for mortgages, car loans, and personal loans.

Lower Interest RatesHigh-Interest Rate Loans

Good credit can save you money. Lenders typically offer lower interest rates to borrowers with strong credit histories because they pose less risk.

When you start building credit with no credit, you work towards qualifying for these lower rates. Lower interest rates mean lower monthly payments and less paid in interest over the life of a loan, resulting in significant savings.

Better Rental and Employment Opportunities

Many landlords and employers will check your credit reports  as part of their application processes. A solid credit history can improve your chances of securing an apartment or landing a job, particularly in positions that involve financial responsibility.

When you start building credit you avoid potential obstacles in securing housing or employment.

Favorable Insurance Premiumsinsurance

Insurance companies often use credit scores to determine premiums for auto, home, and renters insurance. A good credit history can lead to lower insurance costs. By building credit, you set yourself up for more favorable insurance rates, reducing your overall financial burden.

Financial Flexibility

A well-established credit history provides financial flexibility and security. Whether you need to cover an unexpected expense or take advantage of a financial opportunity, having good credit can make it easier to access the funds you need.

By building credit now you will have options when it matters most.

Who Should Get A Credit Card For People WIth No Credit?

A credit card designed for individuals with no credit history is an excellent tool for a variety of people aiming to establish their credit history. Young adults, particularly college students and recent graduates, often fall into this category.

These individuals typically have limited financial histories, and obtaining a credit card tailored for beginners can provide a structured way to start building credit responsibly.

By using the card for everyday purchases and paying off the balance on time, they can gradually establish a positive credit history, which is crucial for future financial endeavors.

The best option for immigrants and international residents People WIth No Credit

Another group that can benefit from a credit card for no credit includes immigrants and international residents who are new to the country and only have foreign credit histories.

Even if they have a solid credit history in their home country, they will need to establish credit from scratch in their new country. Foreign credit histories can not be added to their new US credit profile.

A starter credit card offers them an accessible entry point to begin building their credit profile, enabling them to secure better financial opportunities in the future.

Finally, individuals who have previously relied on cash or debit transactions and have never utilized credit can also benefit from a credit card for no credit. These individuals may have avoided credit cards due to fear of debt or lack of knowledge about credit systems.

Getting Approved For The Best Starter Credit CardsWhat Are The Requirements For Getting Approved For The Best Starter Credit Cards?

Getting your first credit card when you don’t have any credit history can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here are some essential steps and considerations:

  1. Basic Requirements: Most credit card issuers require you to be at least 18 years old and have a steady source of income. If you’re under 21, you’ll need to prove you have independent income or a co-signer.
  2. Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN): These are required for credit card applications in the United States.
  3. Proof of Income: Lenders want to ensure you have the means to repay your debts, so providing proof of income, such as pay stubs or tax returns, is crucial.
  4. Bank Account: While not always mandatory, having a checking or savings account can increase your chances of approval.

Finding the Right Credit Card for You

Choosing the right starter credit card involves considering your current credit profile, your financial situation and your goals. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Identify Your Needs: Determine whether you need a credit card to build credit, earn rewards, or both.
  2. Your credit report: When you look at your score, where do you fall?  Good credit, bad credit, fair credit or no credit?
  3. Compare Options: Look for credit cards designed for individuals with no or limited credit history. Secured cards and credit cards for students are common options.
  4. Read Reviews: Check customer reviews and expert opinions to gauge the card’s benefits and drawbacks.
  5. Consider Fees and Interest Rates: Pay attention to annual fees, interest rates, and other charges. Some starter cards have high fees, so choose wisely.

What to Look for in a Starter Credit Card

starter credit cardWhen selecting a starter credit card, several features can make a significant difference in your credit-building journey:

  1. Low or No Annual Fee: Starter credit cards should have minimal fees to avoid adding to your financial burden.
  2. Reports to Credit Bureaus: Ensure the card issuer reports your activity to all three credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) to help build your credit history.
  3. Rewards and Benefits: While not a primary concern, some starter cards offer rewards like cash back or points, which can add value.  These rewards are generally reserved for people that qualify for unsecure reward credit cards and have good to fair credit sores.
  4. Reasonable Interest Rates: Look for a card with a competitive APR, especially if you plan to carry a balance occasionally.
  5. Credit Limit: A higher credit limit can help improve your credit utilization ratio, an important factor in your credit score.

How Can a Credit Card Help Me Build Credit Fast?

Using a credit card responsibly is one of the quickest ways to build credit. Here’s how you can do it effectively:

  1. Make On-Time Payments: Your payment history significantly impacts your credit score. Always pay at least the minimum due by the due date.
  2. Keep Balances Low: Aim to use less than 30% of your credit limit to maintain a healthy credit utilization ratio.
  3. Avoid Applying for Multiple Cards: Each credit application results in a hard inquiry, which can temporarily lower your credit score. Apply for one card and focus on using it responsibly.
  4. Monitor Your Credit: Regularly check your credit reports for errors and track your progress using free credit monitoring tools.
  5. Establishing a Credit Mix: Credit scoring models like FICO consider the types of credit accounts you have, such as credit cards, installment loans, and mortgages. Having a credit card in addition to other types of credit can improve your credit mix, which can positively affect your credit score.
  6. Increase Account Age: The length of your credit history accounts for a significant portion of your credit score. By keeping your credit card account open and active for a long time, you can increase the average age of your credit accounts, which can boost your credit score over time.
  7. Build a Positive Payment History: Regular, on-time payments on your credit card demonstrate to lenders that you are a responsible borrower. A consistent history of on-time payments is one of the most significant factors in building and maintaining a good credit score.
  8. Opportunity for Credit Limit Increases: As you use your credit card responsibly, your issuer may offer credit limit increases. Higher credit limits can improve your credit utilization ratio, as long as your spending does not increase proportionally. Keeping your balances low relative to your credit limits helps demonstrate responsible credit management.

unsecured credit cardsUnsecured starter credit cards

These no deposit starter cards  are a good option  for individuals with no credit history who want to start building credit without needing to provide a security deposit. As a first credit card,these cards offer various benefits, including rewards on everyday purchases, making them an attractive choice for many.

What to Look for in an Unsecured Credit Card

  1. No Annual Fee: Seek out an unsecured credit card with no annual fee to avoid unnecessary expenses. Many cards designed for those building credit offer this feature.
  2. Rewards Program: Look for a card that provides rewards on everyday purchases, such as cash back or points for spending in categories like groceries, gas, and dining. A simple and generous rewards structure can add significant value.
  3. Low APR: While unsecured credit cards for those with no credit may have higher interest rates, aim to find a card with a competitive APR. This is especially important if you think you might carry a balance occasionally.
  4. Credit Reporting: Make sure the card issuer reports your payment activity to  Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Regular reporting helps build your credit history and improve your credit score over time.
  5. Introductory Offers: Some unsecured credit cards come with introductory offers, such as bonus rewards or a low introductory APR for a certain period. These offers can enhance the value of the card in the initial months.

What to Avoid When Opening An Unsecured Account

  1. High Fees: Be wary of cards with high fees, including late payment fees, foreign transaction fees, and over-limit fees. Excessive fees can quickly outweigh the benefits of the card and lead to unnecessary financial strain.
  2. Complicated Rewards Programs: Avoid cards with overly complex rewards structures or difficult redemption processes. Opt for a card with straightforward and easy-to-understand rewards.
  3. High APR: While some cards for those with no credit history have higher APRs, excessively high interest rates can be detrimental if you carry a balance. Compare APRs and choose the most competitive option available to you.
  4. Low Credit Limits: Unsecured cards for new credit users often come with lower credit limits. However, some limits can be too restrictive, making it challenging to manage your credit utilization ratio effectively. Look for a card with a reasonable credit limit that fits your spending needs.

By focusing on these key factors, you can find an unsecured credit card that not only helps you build your credit but also offers valuable rewards and manageable terms. Avoiding cards with high fees, complicated rewards, and restrictive credit limits will ensure you make the most of your credit-building journey.

unsecured credit cards for bad credit

What is the Difference Between an Unsecured Credit Card and an Unsecured Credit Card for Bad Credit?

The primary difference between an unsecured credit card and an unsecured credit card for bad credit lies in the eligibility requirements and the terms offered by the issuer.

Unsecured Credit Card:

  • Eligibility: Typically requires a good to excellent credit score (generally above 670) and a stable income.
  • Terms: Offers lower interest rates, higher credit limits, and better rewards compared to secured or cards for bad credit.
  • Purpose: Designed for individuals with established credit histories who can qualify for better terms and benefits.

Unsecured Credit Card for Bad Credit:

  • Eligibility: Designed for individuals with poor or limited credit histories, or those looking to rebuild credit.
  • Terms: Often comes with higher interest rates, lower credit limits, and fewer rewards compared to regular unsecured cards.
  • Purpose: Geared towards helping individuals improve their credit scores by responsibly managing credit.

While unsecured credit cards for bad credit may have less favorable terms than regular unsecured cards, they can be a valuable tool for rebuilding credit. Using these cards responsibly by making on-time payments and keeping balances low can help individuals improve their creditworthiness over time, eventually qualifying them for better credit card offers.

Choosing Secured Credit Cards As Your Starter Credit Card

secured credit cardsSecured cards are a popular choice for those looking to establish or rebuild their credit. These cards require a security deposit, which serves as collateral and typically determines your credit limit. As a first credit card, secured cards offer several advantages and some potential drawbacks.

Pros of Secured Credit Cards

  1. Easier Approval: Secured cards are generally easier to get approved for, even if you have no credit history or a low credit score. The security deposit reduces the risk for the issuer, making them more likely to approve your application.
  2. Credit Building: Most secured cards report your payment history to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. By making timely payments and managing your card responsibly, you can build a positive credit history.
  3. Controlled Spending: The required security deposit sets your credit limit, which can help you control your spending and avoid accumulating large amounts of debt.
  4. Potential for Upgrade: Many issuers allow you to upgrade to an unsecured credit card after demonstrating responsible use of your secured card. This can be a significant step in your credit-building journey.

Cons of Secured Credit Cards

  1. Security Deposit Requirement: The main drawback of secured cards is the need for a security deposit, which can range from $200 to $2,000 or more. This amount is often not accessible while it secures your credit line.
  2. Fees: Some secured credit cards come with high fees, including annual fees, application fees, and monthly maintenance fees. These fees can add up and reduce the overall value of the card.
  3. Low Credit Limit: The credit limit on a secured card is usually equal to the amount of your security deposit.  Which may limit your purchasing power and impact your credit utilization ratio.
  4. Limited Rewards: Secured credit cards often offer fewer rewards and benefits compared to unsecured cards. While some do provide cash back or points, the rewards programs are typically less generous.

What to Look for in a Secured Starter Credit Card

  1. Low or No Fees: Look for a secured card with minimal fees to maximize the value of the card. Some cards offer no annual fee and no hidden charges.
  2. Reasonable Deposit Requirement: Choose a card with a security deposit requirement that fits your budget. Some issuers offer lower minimum deposits, making it easier to get started.
  3. Credit Reporting: Only work with card issuers that report your payment history to all three credit reporting agencies. This is crucial for building your credit score.
  4. Upgrade Path: Select a card from an issuer that offers the potential to upgrade to an unsecured credit card after demonstrating responsible use. This can save you from needing to apply for a new card and close your secured account, which could impact your credit score.

By weighing the pros and cons and focusing on key features, you can choose a secured starter credit card that helps you build a solid credit foundation. Remember to manage your card responsibly by making on-time payments and keeping your balances low to maximize the benefits of your secured card.

student credit cardsStudent Credit Cards

Student credit cards are specifically designed for college students who have limited or no credit history. As a first credit card,these cards often come with benefits tailored to the needs of students, making them a great option for building credit while managing everyday expenses.

What to Look for in a Student Credit Card

  1. No Annual Fee: Look for a card that does not charge an annual fee. As a student, you likely want to avoid unnecessary expenses, and many student cards offer this benefit.
  2. Rewards Program: Choose a card that offers rewards on everyday purchases, such as cash back or points for spending on groceries, dining, and other common categories. These rewards can provide added value and make everyday spending more beneficial.
  3. Introductory Offers: Some student credit cards offer introductory bonuses, such as cash back or points for meeting a minimum spending requirement within the first few months. These offers can be a great way to maximize the value of your card early on.
  4. Credit Reporting: Ensure the card issuer reports your payment activity to all three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). This reporting is crucial for building your credit history.
  5. Educational Resources: Some student  cards offer access to financial education resources, which can help you learn about credit management and personal finance. These tools can be invaluable as you start your credit journey.

What to Avoid in a Student Credit Card

  1. High Interest Rates: Student cards can come with higher interest rates. Look for a card with a reasonable Annual Percentage Rate (APR), and aim to pay your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.
  2. Excessive Fees: Be cautious of cards with high fees, such as foreign transaction fees, late payment fees, or over-limit fees. These fees can quickly add up and negate the benefits of having a credit card.
  3. Low Credit Limits: While it’s common for student credit cards to have lower credit limits, some cards may offer limits that are too restrictive. Ensure the credit limit is sufficient to cover your typical monthly expenses without needing to max out the card, which can harm your credit utilization ratio.
  4. Complicated Rewards Programs: Avoid cards with overly complex rewards structures or redemption processes. Look for straightforward rewards that are easy to understand and redeem.

By carefully selecting a student credit card that offers beneficial features and avoiding those with potential pitfalls, you can effectively build your credit history and enjoy the advantages of responsible credit management while still in school.

credit monitoring

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I get a credit card with no credit history? A: Yes, many credit card issuers offer cards designed for individuals with no credit history, such as secured cards and student cards.

Q: How much should I spend on my starter credit card? A: Keep your spending below 30% of your credit limit to maintain a healthy credit utilization ratio, which positively impacts your credit score.

Q: How long does it take to build good credit with a starter credit card? A: It typically takes about six months of responsible use to establish a credit history and see significant improvements in your credit score.

Q: What happens if I miss a payment on my starter credit card? A: Missing a payment can negatively impact your credit score. It’s essential to make at least the minimum payment by the due date to avoid late fees and damage to your credit.

Q: Can I upgrade my starter credit card? A: Many issuers allow you to upgrade to a better card after demonstrating responsible use. Contact your issuer to discuss your options.

Q: Do starter credit cards have high interest rates? A: Starter credit cards can have higher interest rates due to the increased risk for lenders. Always pay your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.

Q: Will applying for a starter credit card affect my credit score? A: Yes, when you apply for a credit card, the issuer will perform a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can temporarily lower your credit score. However, the impact is usually minimal and short-term.

Q: Can I use my starter credit card for online purchases? A: Yes, you can use your starter credit card for online purchases, just like any other credit card. Be sure to use secure websites and monitor your account for any unauthorized transactions.

Q: What is the difference between a secured and an unsecured starter credit card? A: A secured credit card requires a security deposit, which acts as collateral and usually determines your credit limit. An unsecured credit card does not require a deposit and is typically harder to qualify for if you have no credit history.

Q: Can I get a credit card without a job? A: If you don’t have a job, you may still be able to get a credit card by proving you have another source of income, such as savings, investments, or financial support from family. Some student credit cards also consider allowances or financial aid as income.

Q: What should I do if my starter credit card application is denied? A: If your application is denied, review the reasons provided by the issuer, which are typically included in the denial letter. Common reasons include insufficient income or a lack of credit history. Consider applying for a secured credit card or seeking out cards specifically designed for building credit. You can also contact the issuer for a reconsideration if you believe there has been a mistake or if you can provide additional information.

Q: Which credit card is best for a new user? A: The best credit card for a new user is typically one that is designed specifically for individuals with no credit history or limited credit. Look for cards with no annual fees, a low APR, and a straightforward rewards program. Options like secured credit cards,unsecured credit cards for people with bad credt, or student credit cards can be ideal for new users as they often have lower eligibility requirements and are designed to help you build credit.

Q: What is a good credit score for a beginner? A: As a beginner, your credit score will likely start at the lower end of the scale simply due to the lack of credit history. Generally, a credit score above 650 is considered good for someone new to credit, but building a strong credit score takes time and consistent positive credit behavior. Aim to make on-time payments, keep your credit utilization low, and avoid applying for too many credit accounts in a short period.

Q: How much should I spend if my credit limit is $200? A: If your credit limit is $200, it’s wise to keep your spending below 30% of your limit to maintain a healthy credit utilization ratio. This means you should aim to spend no more than $60 at any given time. Keeping your balance low and paying off your card in full each month will help you build a strong credit history and improve your credit score over time.

Q: What is the easiest unsecured card to get? A: The easiest unsecured card to get is typically one designed for individuals with no credit or poor credit. These cards may have higher interest rates and fewer rewards, but they provide an opportunity to build your credit history. Look for cards that specifically state they are for beginners or those with limited credit history, and ensure the issuer reports to all three major credit bureaus.

Q: Is there a credit card that approves everyone? A: There is no credit card that approves everyone, as issuers must assess the risk associated with each applicant. However, some cards have more lenient approval criteria, especially those aimed at individuals with no credit or poor credit. Secured credit cards, which require a security deposit, are often easier to obtain since the deposit reduces the issuer’s risk. Even so, it’s important to meet the basic requirements such as having a steady income and being of legal age to apply.

Building credit with a starter credit card is a smart financial move that requires patience and discipline. By choosing the right card and using it responsibly, you can establish a strong credit foundation that will benefit you for years to come.

Elizabeth Roberts

Elizabeth Roberts

Liz Roberts and her team are continuously providing information to people who are ready to repair their credit and improve their credit score. Also NewHorizon.org team strives to empower the homebased and small business owners by bringing information that can help them to manage and grow their businesses. Let our 24+ years of business finance experience help you to get the financing you need! CONTACT US if need financing for your business.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

NHBS Inc © 2024

NewHorizon.org is an independent, advertising supported website. The owner of the site may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. NewHorizon.org has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Privacy Policy Terms of Use

NHBS Inc © 2022

NewHorizon.org is an independent, advertising supported website. The owner of the site may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. NewHorizon.org has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Privacy Policy Terms of Use

Business Loans

Consumer Loans

New Horizon
Logo
Enable registration in settings - general