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Posted: 3/6/2006 4:53:40 PM EDT
Okay, so I'm looking into getting a credit card (what I have now is debit, which is alright for its purposes, but I'd like to get a credit card), and the AnandTech-supported site Better Credit Card (no malware that my very secure system has been able to catch, and no ads that I see) has a few suggestions which I'm looking at.

I have a very low income (student, no job currently, but receive some money weekly). I still have the means to pay off anything I'd be buying on this card; I'm not a stupid spender.

However, since I probably won't be using it much, I'd prefer a card that doesn't charge me if I don't use it. As in, no monthly/yearly/weekly fees, etc.

As to what company, I'd prefer mastercard or visa, but amex is okay, I guess (do they even issue discover anymore?).

Suggestions?
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 4:58:04 PM EDT
They do still issue Discover and they have a card just for students. That is how I got started back in college and how I was able to build credit for a few years so I could buy a house after school and do other things. Never had a problem with them but then I always pay the balance and don't accrue interest. Made hundreds of dollars in rewards which is nice too.

To pick the best card for you, it depends on what your spending habits are. Rewards cards are the best for people who don't carry a balance. You should avoid getting into the monthly-payment-trap but should that happen to you then the lowest interest rate is more important.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 5:06:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dolanp:
They do still issue Discover and they have a card just for students. That is how I got started back in college and how I was able to build credit for a few years so I could buy a house after school and do other things. Never had a problem with them but then I always pay the balance and don't accrue interest. Made hundreds of dollars in rewards which is nice too.

To pick the best card for you, it depends on what your spending habits are. Rewards cards are the best for people who don't carry a balance. You should avoid getting into the monthly-payment-trap but should that happen to you then the lowest interest rate is more important.



I don't intend to carry a balance (although I do understand shit happens that could make that necessary if I spend too much or my income gets cut for some reason).

I actually spend very little by myself (because food and housing and such is paid for), so this would mostly be for occasionally eating out (at cheap places like McDonald's; think Bennigan's for the absolute maximum, and that'd be once every few months) or for getting a DVD or game or something, maybe use once or twice a month.

To get a citi or chase credit card, do they usually require that you be a member of that bank?
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 5:09:33 PM EDT
No, the card is just issued through the bank. The Chase and Citi rewards cards are generally accepted to be the best of the Visa/MC lot though they're customer service gets varied reviews. Usually you don't have problems with these companies unless you make a payment late or go over the limit, then they will jack up your rate and rape you with fees.

There's nothing wrong with spending a lot of money on a card, just make sure you can back up every purchase with money in the bank. This way you make money off of their rewards programs.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 5:10:57 PM EDT
I use Well Fargos and I got a student Visa from them as my first credit card. They started me off with a small line of credit and it has built from there. I like Visa the best since everyone pretty much takes accepts it. Discover is not accepted everywhere.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 5:17:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunDisaster:
Discover is not accepted everywhere.



True, sometimes this can be an issue. Usually I just pay with a debit card if this is the case but sometimes that's a pain.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 5:19:39 PM EDT
If you can afford not to do it, a word of advice.... don't fucking get a credit card.


carry on.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 5:21:48 PM EDT
stay away from credit cards. you'll buy stuff thinking "i'll have the $ by the end of the month" and then the end of the month rolls around and guess what, you dont have it....

stay away
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 5:23:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dolanp:
No, the card is just issued through the bank. The Chase and Citi rewards cards are generally accepted to be the best of the Visa/MC lot though they're customer service gets varied reviews. Usually you don't have problems with these companies unless you make a payment late or go over the limit, then they will jack up your rate and rape you with fees.



So, since you seem knowledgable, would your suggestion be to go with chase or with citibank, or another?
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 5:24:12 PM EDT
If you can use one maturely then it works to your advantage because you will have a good credit history.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 5:25:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:
So, since you seem knowledgable, would your suggestion be to go with chase or with citibank, or another?



Eh, I dunno between the two, but I'd try one of them. If you have no credit history I'm not sure you'll be able to start with a card like that because I think they're considered 'platinum' cards. You might have to go to your local bank and start with the student card.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 6:02:30 PM EDT
My parents credit was bombed when I wanted to get a credit card, so I got a secured card through my local credit union. I had to buy a $600 CD to get a credit-card with a $500 limit, but after a year of spending+paying off I asked them if I could drop the CD and they allowed that. The drawback was in the next couple years, I asked them to increase the spending limit and they refused because my income hadn't gone up (when I was going to a local college, $500 would just barely cover a semester's worth of books!). Also, they stuck me with the "first time lender" interest rate, and wouldn't switch me to the cheaper normal rate. I think they charged $10 per year fee, plus something for cash advances (that I never used).

I got a Citi Visa card after that, applied for it online. Other people told me that Citi dies increase the spending limit if you use the card a lot and make the payments. Citi started me out with a limit that was several thousand dollars, and it has been increased twice since then though my income is still the same. The terms in general were better with the Citi card than with what I got from my own credit union, but you can't miss payments with Citi though; they put every missed payment on your credit record. Chase is pretty much the same. You gotta make the payments.

-------

As far as "don't get a credit card", that's silly.
You can't ever get a credit rating if you never use credit. If you have a wealthy old relative or plan to win the lottery, then you won't need a credit rating to buy a car or a house--but otherwise, you probably will.

....Though I will admit--the balance does seem to go up faster than it goes down.
And most of the stupid stuff I dreamed of buying with it, I've never even come close to purchasing. I don't even own any centerfire rifles (I got nowhere really to shoot them) and my childhood-dream of owning a gen-3 NV is still just a dream.
~
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 11:24:28 AM EDT
Well, I applied for the Citi Simplicity Awards Visa, so I guess I'll know if I can get it in up to 30 days.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 11:29:22 AM EDT
I got a MBNA Master Card when I started college and have been very happy with it.
If you can find one that gives you cash back points get that! I have one that I charge stuff to and pay off every month...it's like free money.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 12:03:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2006 12:06:17 PM EDT by gonzo_beyondo]
Don't listen to those who say don't get a credit card. That is unbelieveably STUPID advice!


Lets go ahead an assume you never get a credit card.
Lets go ahead and assume your father socked away for you, and you never need a student loan.
Lets also assume you pay cash for every car you buy.

Chances are real good you cannot pay cash in full for a house. And someday, you're going to want one of those.

Now you go to a lender, be it a bank, or ditech, whatever... and say "I need a mortgage!"
You have ZERO credit history. Good luck with that.
Enjoy the highest interest rate ever!
Like "Buy here, Pay here" house dealership rates.

You need to establish credit AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
Your "history" is judged on length of that history, it plays a major factor in score.
Never make a late payment. Starve first, better yet, get free food from the Church pantry. Never go late!


I like my Citi card, have'nt picked up Chase yet. Stay away from Capital One and anything "secured". Bank of America and Providian are both alright, I heard good things about MBNA. Try for an AMEX, and try for a Discover. Get what you can, as quickly as you can, because each one pulls your credit reports.. so move fast with the applications, its not so bad if it all hits say, over the course of a weekend.

Once you do an application spree, say you start online apps on a Friday and finish on a Sunday...
You must not apply for anything for at least 6 months, a year would be preferred.
See each app results in a "pull" and while it takes awhile for them to show up, too many "pulls" will result in a denial of credit. It indicates you may be desperate, trying to get alot of credit at once, and recently. Thats why a "spree" works, you get approved before the pulls get reported. After a year you could go ahead and spree again, to get better cards, or whatever.

I'd apply for at least six different cards at once... Provided there is no minimum fee, apply. The fee, if any, is clearly disclosed up front. When you get your cards in the mail, they come with terms in a little booklet, just read it over carefully, and if you don't like that... you don't have to accept it. The account isn't turned "on" until you activate the card. So call the number on the back of the card, and say, "I made an error, I meant to apply for a no annual fee card", etc.. They'll usually switch you over If not, just decline the offer entirely.

Rotate using them to keep em active.
Great to use cards at the gas pump.
You'll have AAA credit in no time, and then theres nothing you can't do... from houses, to cars, to business start up... having a great credit history is essential. Just use your credit wisely!

once you get your first cards... DONT EVER CLOSE THEM!
They become "tradelines" on your report and they are the foundation of your good history. If you close an account, for say, a better card to use... you'll be deleting all that "time" in terms of history. In other words, if the account closes, so does the tradeline, and when it disappears off the credit report, you've now got no history. Understand?


Check your credit reports once a year at least. Make sure theres nothing negative, and that everything on there is reported correctly, and is in fact, yours!

You're starting with a clean slate and you have that as a huge advantage.
Many of us fuck up our credit royally early on, and then have to bail ourselves out years later and believe me, it ain't easy! Grab the opportunity to build great credit and run with it. As a student working even part-time, the lenders/creditors are eager to get their grip on you. Limits won't be huge at first, but you'll enjoy watching them grow.

Always pay monthly balances in full! Learn how billing cycles work, you can use their money free of charge, plus collect rewards on it!
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 12:06:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/7/2006 12:17:12 PM EDT by MagKnightX]

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
[snip]



Thanks for the advice. You in accounting or finance? When I get some money, I might could use somebody to point me out who to look to for investing, because I want to start planning for my retirement... and maybe a little fun before I get too old, too.

ETA: On applications, where it says "rent or own," I don't rent or own, I live in my parent's house (remember, I'm still in HS, so no snide comments), and they own. So do I put 'own?' And do I include their income in "total household income?" I assume so...
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 12:16:33 PM EDT
Get yourself a subscription to Kiplinger's, always great advice in there.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 12:18:45 PM EDT
just another tool in your financial toolbox. I use mine responsibly just like I use my guns, motorcycles, jeeps, women responsibly

Treat them well ad they'll take care of you.

those who say not to get one probably couldn't get financed for a donut
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 12:36:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tactical_Jew:
just another tool in your financial toolbox. I use mine responsibly just like I use my guns, motorcycles, jeeps, women responsibly

Treat them well ad they'll take care of you.

those who say not to get one probably couldn't get financed for a donut



+1

Believe me, I have been stooooopid and am paying for it now with accelerated payments to get rid of the Shit I have to pay.

One word of advice: If you can, get one that will give you rewards with as high a limit as you can(like one that will give you money back on a car purchase or frequent flyer miles). If you are in school and get loans/scholarships/grants, then max out the card paying for tuition/books/and take the money and PAY OFF the card. By the time my best friend was done with law school, he had enough points to go to Scotland. Twice. I figured/found out my LAST SEMESTER of school.


Think about it.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 1:53:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:
Well, I applied for the Citi Simplicity Awards Visa, so I guess I'll know if I can get it in up to 30 days.



I think you made a good choice. Back in college my first credit card was a Citi Visa with a $800 limit. That was 1993. I still have and use the card today.

There are several good things about Citi. One, they have lots of fringe benefits (car rental insurance, etc.). Two, they actually have decent customer service, if you don't mind talking to an outsourced rep in India.

Third, their anti-fraud dept does a pretty good job -- they have called me in the past to check to see if it was really me that spent $400 in motorcycle accessories. And when my Citi card was misappropriated by a French internet company (thank you sogepas.com, dickheads) Citi cleared it up pronto, with no penalty to me.

Fourth, you can get your photo put on the front of your card. I don't know of any other cc company which will do this. That reminds me, I gotta update my photo, it's not 1993 any more.

Last, they have a good internet site where you can check your balance and activity daily. This is very important. One good weapon to head off identity theft is to check your balance daily. Would you rather find out someone got your card and ran up charges for 30 days ... or would you rather find out the day after? Having a website that allows you to check balances is key!

Link Posted: 3/7/2006 2:05:15 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 3:28:50 PM EDT
get something that pays cash back
Discover and the Amazon Visa both do (although amazon is only in the form of amazon.com gift certificates) and are no fee
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 9:25:29 AM EDT
Update: The AmEx I applied for rejected me for "insufficient established credit."

I've yet to receive the mailings from the other cards I applied for.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 9:39:08 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 9:56:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Interesting. AmEx was the first real credit card I got. With no established credit at the time.

They started me with a 1000 dollar credit limit and within two months it was raised to 3000.

But I always pay it off in full, every month.

CJ



Same here. Back when I was a college student with no job to speak of, AMEX offered me a pre-approved gold card, and that was back when gold cards were pretty uncommon and platinum hadn't been thought of yet.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:51:22 PM EDT
Heck--about 15 years ago, I remember that the credit card companies were sending already-printed CC cards to college students, who hadn't even asked. All they had to do was call to activate them. After about 5 years record numbers of students were bombing out on CC and student loans, and now the CC companies don't do it that way (lately!).

...I dunno what I'd be doing without a CC now.
Except for gasoline and food, for most of the stuff I buy it seems like I end up ordering online.
~
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:53:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:
Update: The AmEx I applied for rejected me for "insufficient established credit."

I've yet to receive the mailings from the other cards I applied for.



what is your credit score?

I've heard of people getting approved with a score as low as 640 for the green charge.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:55:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Interesting. AmEx was the first real credit card I got. With no established credit at the time.

They started me with a 1000 dollar credit limit and within two months it was raised to 3000.

But I always pay it off in full, every month.

CJ




I love Amex. They've treated my pretty good over the years.

Citi is also a great company to deal with.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:55:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tactical_Jew:

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:
Update: The AmEx I applied for rejected me for "insufficient established credit."

I've yet to receive the mailings from the other cards I applied for.



what is your credit score?

I've heard of people getting approved with a score as low as 640 for the green charge.



I don't know, I haven't paid for a full report, but the free reports from the credit reporting bureaus all list me as having insufficient data to categorize me.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 6:57:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:

Originally Posted By Tactical_Jew:

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:
Update: The AmEx I applied for rejected me for "insufficient established credit."

I've yet to receive the mailings from the other cards I applied for.



what is your credit score?

I've heard of people getting approved with a score as low as 640 for the green charge.



I don't know, I haven't paid for a full report, but the free reports from the credit reporting bureaus all list me as having insufficient data to categorize me.



ask Amex for a reconsideration. They are great to work with.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 7:21:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 7:22:43 PM EDT by dmaas]
Definitely get a credit card in college. Being a student magically gets you access to cards... I made the mistake of not getting one during college, then starting my own business instead of getting a "real job" (so I show up in databases as "unemployed"!). It was a real problem to get my first card and start building a credit history.

Just try to find a card with no annual fee. Look into rewards programs if you want, but I've always found they have so many restrictions that it ends up being more trouble than it's worth.

As for investing, a good first step would be to open a Roth IRA account. This lets you put away some money that will grow tax-free in the future (and since your income is low right now, you hardly pay any taxes on the deposited money at all). Look around the web for an investment company that will let you open a Roth IRA and buy an index stock fund, with a minimum you can afford. I strongly recommend Vanguard, but they've increased their minimum investments recently - it takes $3,000 to get started there now.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 7:26:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Discover?

Why would you want a card that almost nobody takes?


My first card was Amex. Yeah, there was a small yearly fee, but for a first card, expect that.

I used it (and to this day still use it) ONLY to buy gas with it, and I pay it off in full every month.

My credit rating has been building steadily because of this and other examples of good money management.

I find it amusing and wrong that here in America, a person who has NO debt and doesn't buy
anything on time isn't considered by the banks or credit companies to be as good a risk as someone
who has considerable debt but pays the minimum on his credit cards every month.

They want proof you'll pay, and WANT you to be in debt so you WILL pay them every month.

it's so backwards.

CJ
\



You are using an AmEx and you complain that nobody takes Discover? What planet do you live on?

Anyways, I rarely have a problem with people accepting Discover but I can't recall a single time I've seen a place take AmEx that didn't take every other card. AmEx must have the highest merchant fees or something.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 7:31:39 PM EDT
Credit cards are dumb.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 7:34:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By -Absolut-:
I got a MBNA Master Card when I started college and have been very happy with it.
If you can find one that gives you cash back points get that! I have one that I charge stuff to and pay off every month...it's like free money.



+1 for MBNA. Plus it has my favorite hockey team's logo on it.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 7:35:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dmaas:
I strongly recommend Vanguard, but they've increased their minimum investments recently - it takes $3,000 to get started there now.



Vanguard is great. I'm surprised to hear about that new $3000 minimum though, that's unfortunate for new starters. T. Rowe Price has a great lifecycle retirement fund that has a $1000 minimum opening deposit still I believe.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 7:41:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 7:48:04 PM EDT by Dave_A]

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:
Okay, so I'm looking into getting a credit card (what I have now is debit, which is alright for its purposes, but I'd like to get a credit card), and the AnandTech-supported site Better Credit Card (no malware that my very secure system has been able to catch, and no ads that I see) has a few suggestions which I'm looking at.

I have a very low income (student, no job currently, but receive some money weekly). I still have the means to pay off anything I'd be buying on this card; I'm not a stupid spender.

However, since I probably won't be using it much, I'd prefer a card that doesn't charge me if I don't use it. As in, no monthly/yearly/weekly fees, etc.

As to what company, I'd prefer mastercard or visa, but amex is okay, I guess (do they even issue discover anymore?).

Suggestions?



A good starter card (no membership fee or deposit) should be available from your bank.

Ask them, they will have something for you...

READ THE FINE PRINT, or they will get you with finance charges...

Credit cards can be very convenient - they are more secure than cash (nothing happens if you loose it), and it's easy to track your expenditures when you only have 1 bill per month... I like not having to keep track of cash and never physically having to set foot in a bank, go to an ATM, deal with gas station attendants, or cash crime, or...

But I pay it off every month, and normally have money left...

DO NOT USE CREDIT CARDS FOR CREDIT (DO NOT BORROW WITH IT) - USE IT AS A PAYMENT DEVICE....

Link Posted: 3/12/2006 7:44:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Don't listen to those who say don't get a credit card. That is unbelieveably STUPID advice!


Lets go ahead an assume you never get a credit card.
Lets go ahead and assume your father socked away for you, and you never need a student loan.
Lets also assume you pay cash for every car you buy.

Chances are real good you cannot pay cash in full for a house. And someday, you're going to want one of those.

Now you go to a lender, be it a bank, or ditech, whatever... and say "I need a mortgage!"
You have ZERO credit history. Good luck with that.
Enjoy the highest interest rate ever!
Like "Buy here, Pay here" house dealership rates.

You need to establish credit AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
Your "history" is judged on length of that history, it plays a major factor in score.
Never make a late payment. Starve first, better yet, get free food from the Church pantry. Never go late!


I like my Citi card, have'nt picked up Chase yet. Stay away from Capital One and anything "secured". Bank of America and Providian are both alright, I heard good things about MBNA. Try for an AMEX, and try for a Discover. Get what you can, as quickly as you can, because each one pulls your credit reports.. so move fast with the applications, its not so bad if it all hits say, over the course of a weekend.

Once you do an application spree, say you start online apps on a Friday and finish on a Sunday...
You must not apply for anything for at least 6 months, a year would be preferred.
See each app results in a "pull" and while it takes awhile for them to show up, too many "pulls" will result in a denial of credit. It indicates you may be desperate, trying to get alot of credit at once, and recently. Thats why a "spree" works, you get approved before the pulls get reported. After a year you could go ahead and spree again, to get better cards, or whatever.

I'd apply for at least six different cards at once... Provided there is no minimum fee, apply. The fee, if any, is clearly disclosed up front. When you get your cards in the mail, they come with terms in a little booklet, just read it over carefully, and if you don't like that... you don't have to accept it. The account isn't turned "on" until you activate the card. So call the number on the back of the card, and say, "I made an error, I meant to apply for a no annual fee card", etc.. They'll usually switch you over If not, just decline the offer entirely.

Rotate using them to keep em active.
Great to use cards at the gas pump.
You'll have AAA credit in no time, and then theres nothing you can't do... from houses, to cars, to business start up... having a great credit history is essential. Just use your credit wisely!

once you get your first cards... DONT EVER CLOSE THEM!
They become "tradelines" on your report and they are the foundation of your good history. If you close an account, for say, a better card to use... you'll be deleting all that "time" in terms of history. In other words, if the account closes, so does the tradeline, and when it disappears off the credit report, you've now got no history. Understand?


Check your credit reports once a year at least. Make sure theres nothing negative, and that everything on there is reported correctly, and is in fact, yours!

You're starting with a clean slate and you have that as a huge advantage.
Many of us fuck up our credit royally early on, and then have to bail ourselves out years later and believe me, it ain't easy! Grab the opportunity to build great credit and run with it. As a student working even part-time, the lenders/creditors are eager to get their grip on you. Limits won't be huge at first, but you'll enjoy watching them grow.

Always pay monthly balances in full! Learn how billing cycles work, you can use their money free of charge, plus collect rewards on it!




Translation: SELL YOUR SOUL TODAY!!!!!!! DO IT. DO IT NOW.
Don't worry about tomorrow. Nevermind that you COULD EASILY buy land with cash and have a house built with CASH.......
The cash you will save from not paying a friggn CC debt every month will add up quick in your savings account.

Link Posted: 3/12/2006 7:50:51 PM EDT
I am 24 and cant get any credit at all, i always get the lack of credit history story also.So how in the hell am i going to build credit?
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 7:51:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 7:58:27 PM EDT
I am still a college student. When I first started a couple years ago, I got a "Citi Student Card" application in my bag when I bought my books. I applied and wham, $1000. It took me months to use it, and now I am an addict. I use a CC for almost everything, and make payments twice a month to keep my balance down. This also helps my bank account, since I only make a few payments each month out of it, and those are to the CCs.

However, as good as the student card may seem, don't get trapped with the interest rates. That first year, mine jumped from 0%, to 15% at 6 months, to 24% after 12 months (this was all in the agreement when I signed up).

Use it a little, pay it off quick, and you will get credit fast. In that first year I had replaced the card with an Amex with an 11% interest rate (much better for someone my age).

Just be careful and consider your future when you make big decisions about this stuff.
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 5:06:42 PM EDT
Chase and Citi also rejected me for insufficient credit.

Would it be a bad idea to go ahead and apply for my bank's student credit card now that I have the pulls currently on my record?
Link Posted: 3/13/2006 5:16:22 PM EDT
I'm happy with my Citi Dividend card.

5% off gas and grocery purchases
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 9:33:44 AM EDT
Don't forget to chek out if it has a Binding Arbitration clause, where you give up your 7th admendment rights to a trial by law in a dispute , and agree to use the binding arbitration instead and THEY pick the arbitrator...I'm sure you get a fair deal there....
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 9:58:13 AM EDT
If you are an NRA member consider getting the NRA branded VISA card from First National Bank Omaha.

www.nracreditcard.com/NRA/
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 10:06:53 AM EDT
Credit cards are basically thrown at you on college campuses.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 10:24:09 AM EDT
Every bank in the free world has a credit card tailored to people like you. Most cards have no fees, except the occational "we are going to rob your stupid ass" cards, but smart people don't take them.

As for interest rates, it is really a toss up. I'll receive 7.99% after introductory rates one week, and then 27.9% interest rates the next week from the same bank. Personally I won't even blink at anything over 10%.

First check your local bank. If they have a reasonable card then get it. You can always make last minute payments right there on the spot. Plus it will get you some brownie points if you want a loan later on (assuming you make your payments, don't bounce checks, and your savings account avoids the - sign).

Bank of America, Capital One, and MBNA have all given me good offers and bad. 5/3 bank has one of the lowest rates w/ no annual fee that I have seen recently, but you have to qualify for it. Just try looking around online at some reputable banks, you'll find something that catches your eye.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 10:31:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MagKnightX:
Chase and Citi also rejected me for insufficient credit.

Would it be a bad idea to go ahead and apply for my bank's student credit card now that I have the pulls currently on my record?



That is really weird ... as mentioned before, Citi gave me my first credit card while I was a junior in college with NO credit history!

Did you apply using one of those student application forms or did you just apply online?

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 10:33:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Ineedhelp:

Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:
Don't listen to those who say don't get a credit card. That is unbelieveably STUPID advice!


Lets go ahead an assume you never get a credit card.
Lets go ahead and assume your father socked away for you, and you never need a student loan.
Lets also assume you pay cash for every car you buy.

Chances are real good you cannot pay cash in full for a house. And someday, you're going to want one of those.

Now you go to a lender, be it a bank, or ditech, whatever... and say "I need a mortgage!"
You have ZERO credit history. Good luck with that.
Enjoy the highest interest rate ever!
Like "Buy here, Pay here" house dealership rates.

You need to establish credit AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
Your "history" is judged on length of that history, it plays a major factor in score.
Never make a late payment. Starve first, better yet, get free food from the Church pantry. Never go late!


I like my Citi card, have'nt picked up Chase yet. Stay away from Capital One and anything "secured". Bank of America and Providian are both alright, I heard good things about MBNA. Try for an AMEX, and try for a Discover. Get what you can, as quickly as you can, because each one pulls your credit reports.. so move fast with the applications, its not so bad if it all hits say, over the course of a weekend.

Once you do an application spree, say you start online apps on a Friday and finish on a Sunday...
You must not apply for anything for at least 6 months, a year would be preferred.
See each app results in a "pull" and while it takes awhile for them to show up, too many "pulls" will result in a denial of credit. It indicates you may be desperate, trying to get alot of credit at once, and recently. Thats why a "spree" works, you get approved before the pulls get reported. After a year you could go ahead and spree again, to get better cards, or whatever.

I'd apply for at least six different cards at once... Provided there is no minimum fee, apply. The fee, if any, is clearly disclosed up front. When you get your cards in the mail, they come with terms in a little booklet, just read it over carefully, and if you don't like that... you don't have to accept it. The account isn't turned "on" until you activate the card. So call the number on the back of the card, and say, "I made an error, I meant to apply for a no annual fee card", etc.. They'll usually switch you over If not, just decline the offer entirely.

Rotate using them to keep em active.
Great to use cards at the gas pump.
You'll have AAA credit in no time, and then theres nothing you can't do... from houses, to cars, to business start up... having a great credit history is essential. Just use your credit wisely!

once you get your first cards... DONT EVER CLOSE THEM!
They become "tradelines" on your report and they are the foundation of your good history. If you close an account, for say, a better card to use... you'll be deleting all that "time" in terms of history. In other words, if the account closes, so does the tradeline, and when it disappears off the credit report, you've now got no history. Understand?


Check your credit reports once a year at least. Make sure theres nothing negative, and that everything on there is reported correctly, and is in fact, yours!

You're starting with a clean slate and you have that as a huge advantage.
Many of us fuck up our credit royally early on, and then have to bail ourselves out years later and believe me, it ain't easy! Grab the opportunity to build great credit and run with it. As a student working even part-time, the lenders/creditors are eager to get their grip on you. Limits won't be huge at first, but you'll enjoy watching them grow.

Always pay monthly balances in full! Learn how billing cycles work, you can use their money free of charge, plus collect rewards on it!




Translation: SELL YOUR SOUL TODAY!!!!!!! DO IT. DO IT NOW.
Don't worry about tomorrow. Nevermind that you COULD EASILY buy land with cash and have a house built with CASH.......
The cash you will save from not paying a friggn CC debt every month will add up quick in your savings account.


+1
My son, a 26yo college grad, never got a credit card. He pays cash or uses a debit card. He does have a credit history though because he pays bills like gas, electric, water, trash pickup and he has never missed a payment.

Borrowing does not establish a good credit history, making timely payments does.
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