How to Get Your First Credit Card

By: Lisa Nichols

If you've never owned a credit card, getting your first one can be a challenge. You must have a credit history in order to get loans and apply for credit cards, and without a credit history, you often can't get approved for credit. If you opt out of getting a credit card while you're in college, you may be setting yourself up for problems in the future.

Why You Need to Get Your First Credit Card

You need to get your first credit card to boost your credit score and to establish credit history. If you graduate from college and have never had a credit card, you may find it difficult to get approved for loans, credit cards or insurance. Credit card companies, lenders, insurance companies and other entities use to help determine credit worthiness. Based upon your ability to apply and get approved for your , you may or may not get the best rates on credit cards, loans and insurance.

Student Credit Card Offers Help Boost Credit Scores

If you're in college, you can get your first credit card if you are eligible for student credit card offers. These cards are for the unique needs of kids in school and can help boost a credit score. When you apply and get approved for your first , you receive all of the benefits of being a major cardholder. Your credit card can be used for purchases, travel and cash advances. Many student credit cards offer low interest rates or rewards programs to help you save money. In addition, these cards often partner with retailers to bring cardholders extra savings every time you use the card to shop at partner websites and stores.

Other Options to Get Your First Credit Card

If you aren't eligible for a student credit card, you may be able to apply for a credit card at a locally owned retailer. You can also become eligible to get your first credit card by getting a loan at your bank or credit union. Before you apply for credit card offers or loans, make sure to ask if doing business with the company will help to boost your credit score.

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