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How to Get a Credit Card

If your credit history is next to nonexistent, these tips will help you take charge of your money and prepare you for the world of personal finance.


  • Step 1: Check with your bank Check with your bank or credit union to see if they offer a credit card. They are usually more accessible to young people without a credit history.
  • TIP: Most credit card companies require you to have income and a checking account before issuing a line of credit.
  • Step 2: Apply for a small loan Apply for a small loan – less than 500 dollars –from your bank. Pay back the loan the following month to establish a credit history.
  • Step 3: Ask about a secure card Ask the credit card company about a secure credit card which requires you to maintain a savings account equal to the amount of your credit line.
  • Step 4: Apply for a store or gas card Apply for a department store or gas card to establish credit, but be wary of the high finance charges they carry.
  • TIP: Make sure that the department store or gas company reports your payment history to the major credit bureaus.
  • Step 5: Pay bills each month Pay off the balance of your card each month and never make a late payment which can destroy your credit.
  • Step 6: Apply for a major credit card Apply for a major credit card once you establish a credit history and ditch high interest, fee-laden department store and gas cards as soon as possible.
  • FACT: According to the Federal Reserve, outstanding consumer debt totaled 2.55 trillion dollars in 2009.

You Will Need

  • A bank or credit union
  • A loan
  • A good credit history
  • A checking account (optional)
  • Income (optional)

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