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    How do I get my first credit card?

    I'm a college student who is looking to start building my credit rating. How do I go about getting one? I here lots of people are being denied now. could my parents cosign possibly?

    #2
    Simplest way to go is to shop around for a credit card (CreditCards.com is a good option), and just find one you think will benefit you. Hopefully you never even consider carrying over a balance month to month. If that is the case, don't worry too much about interest rate. Look at, instead, other benefits to you. Also, be careful to avoid any credit cards with some sort of monthly or annual fee--in almost all cases, they're never worth it, and you can find one that's just as good without the fees.

    As for actually qualifying, even today it shouldn't be a problem. Do you have a job/income? If so, you can almost assuredly qualify at least for a basic, $500 limit card. Look also at student credit cards, which are targeted specifically to college students. Try to avoid using your parents as a financial life-line, because they won't always be there (or want to be your financial backstop). Stand on your own two feet, take care of yourself, and you'll be fine--don't use them to co-sign anything for you, particularly credit cards.
    "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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      #3
      Are you willing to cut it up if you do not pay in full one month?

      I would suggest you start with a gas card with a 500 limit.

      Comment


        #4
        Look around campus for offers. If you do not live with your parents, ask them if card offers have been arriving at their house. My son gets them all the time since he started college; I jut throw them away.

        You do want a card that you can use for more than just gasoline, but even the ones sponsored by oil/gasoline companies usually can be used elsewhere. As a student, you probably want to be able to purchase books via internet and a credit card will help you do that. You can save a lot of money buying your books online.

        Anyway, applying is as simple as filling out a card with basic info and mailing it in. Or you can apply online now, too. Just google the names of some cards you are interested in and you should be able to find many offers. Of course, to pay your monthly bill, you will most likely need a bank account. And having a bank account gives you another place to seek a credit card--your bank.
        "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

        "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

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          #5
          Wells Fargo still rewards its employees for opening some super student package, with a checking account, savings account, and credit card.

          Their employees I think still have quotas.

          Don't be fooled, people are still out there selling ways to get in debt. Though I don't recommend it.


          If America runs on Dunkin, the banks in America run on debt.

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            #6
            Are you under 21? If so, remember that the new credit card rules will require either a cosigner or proof of enough income to support the credit granted. Do you have a steady job?

            You may want to begin by doing some research on Student credit cards, like the Citi Forward card, which is quite popular among college kids because it rewards your financial responsibility with bonus rewards points and lower interest rates. Like others have mentioned, the bank you use may also offer you a credit card, although they often don't have the greatest rewards programs.

            Once you secure a card, use it sparingly for necessities (30% or less of your credit limit), always pay on time, and always pay in full. If you can do that, you'll have a good credit score in no time.
            Rock climber, ultrarunner, and credit expert at Creditnet.com

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              #7
              If I could have done it all over again. I would have started out with a Sears Dept Store card w/ $500 balance. My first card was a Visa w/ 5k balance. That 5k balance was gone in 6 months and took over 7 years to pay off. Keeping in mind at one point while deployed to Kuwait, I was making $500/mo payments and still couldn't pay it down. I had to turn to my Grandmother and ask her to pay off the balance of 4k. To date, the worst decision/choices I made.

              PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take credit serious and PLEASE be responsible about it. It will either make things VERY easy for you in the future, or VERY difficult.

              Choose the easiest path.

              I'm finally down to under $300 in CC balance and will have $0 by next month. Trust me, you don't want to have to lose sleep to that stereo system or mac book you bought years ago.

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                #8
                My first CC was from the bank located across the street from my college campus. They ran special deals for students. My father did have to co-sign since I had no income at the time.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Lizard_King420 View Post
                  I'm a college student who is looking to start building my credit rating. How do I go about getting one? I here lots of people are being denied now. could my parents cosign possibly?
                  don't
                  Gunga galunga...gunga -- gunga galunga.

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                    #10
                    Trying to build credit is one of the worst mistakes you can make. The only thing a credit score will give you is the ability to stay in debt for a long time. Employers don't care about your Fico score. They check your actual credit report.
                    Last edited by Bastille; 01-22-2011, 12:33 AM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Bastille View Post
                      Trying to build credit is one of the worst mistakes you can make. The only thing a credit score will give you is the ability to stay in debt for a long time.
                      Sorry Bastille, but I have to disagree. Building good credit and managing it responsibly is an important part of personal finance. And having a good credit score has absolutely nothing to do with getting into debt or staying in debt for a long time. I've used credit cards since I was 18 to build my credit history and I've never paid a cent in interest or fees. I did, however, pay for my entire honeymoon using rewards points, which was awesome.
                      Rock climber, ultrarunner, and credit expert at Creditnet.com

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Bastille View Post
                        Trying to build credit is one of the worst mistakes you can make. The only thing a credit score will give you is the ability to stay in debt for a long time. Employers don't care about your Fico score. They check your actual credit report.
                        Building credit is not a mistake. The mistakes are usually in the area of how the credit is built and whether the person doing the building exercises some self-discipline and good financial sense. Long term unsecured debt is usually the result of lack of discipline or lack of sense, or both.

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                          #13
                          What do you need a credit score for? You can buy a car without one, pay for college, books, even a mortgage? My wife and I only have one and it is hers that we use for Gas and that's it... I don't even want that one....

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by littleroc02us View Post
                            What do you need a credit score for? You can buy a car without one, pay for college, books, even a mortgage? My wife and I only have one and it is hers that we use for Gas and that's it... I don't even want that one....
                            How about renting an apartment at a good rate without having to rely on Mommy and Daddy to cosign? How about getting cheaper car insurance just for having a good credit score? There are plenty of reasons for having good credit, and it's not like it's that difficult to obtain in the first place. The OP will be worse off ignoring his credit than by simply taking the time to understand how it works and living by a few simple financial principles- like living within his means and always paying bills in full and on time.
                            Rock climber, ultrarunner, and credit expert at Creditnet.com

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by JoshuaHeckathorn View Post
                              How about renting an apartment at a good rate without having to rely on Mommy and Daddy to cosign? How about getting cheaper car insurance just for having a good credit score? There are plenty of reasons for having good credit, and it's not like it's that difficult to obtain in the first place. The OP will be worse off ignoring his credit than by simply taking the time to understand how it works and living by a few simple financial principles- like living within his means and always paying bills in full and on time.
                              This is an endless debate between the Dave Ramsey followers and those who don't follow him. Dave Ramsey believes you should go off the grid and let your credit score go to zero. I disagree. DR is of the opinion that the only way to maintain a good credit score is to go into debt. That simply isn't true. You can have a good score by paying all of your bills on time. Some rental properties report to the credit bureaus so just paying your rent and utility bills and paying your credit card in full every month is all it takes to have a good score.

                              DR teaches that there are ways to get insurance, rentals, mortgages, etc., without a credit score, and that's true, but it certainly complicates matters and limits your options.
                              Steve

                              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                              Comment

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