5 Tips on How to Get Your First Credit Card at 18

By law, you can get a credit card once you reach 18 years old. However, it is not that simple. The law also requires credit card issuers to check on young adults under 21 to make sure they have an income to settle their balance. Following are some tips to help you get approved for your first credit card.

  1. Score a steady job.

Before you get a credit card, regardless of age, you must have the means to pay for your balance. The state did not mention a specific income that you need to meet to qualify but the credit card issuers have their own guidelines.

  1. Get a co-signer.

If you cannot qualify for a card on your own, you can ask someone over 21 to co-sign your credit card application. Of course, the co-signer must meet the qualifications so you two can get approved. Once approved, both of you are responsible for the credit card balance even if only one person uses the card. How you handle this card will also affect the credit of the co-signer so be very careful.

  1. Become an authorized user of another person’s credit card.

Becoming an authorized user means using a credit card of another person and having your credit history recorded but you are not responsible for paying the balance legally. The history you create with this card can be used to build your own credit and get approved for your own card later on.

  1. Apply for a secured credit card.

This type of card requires you to make a cash deposit against the credit limit of the card. It is the collateral. Of course, you still have to make monthly payments toward the balance you accumulate. The deposit is only used if you default on the credit card balance.

  1. Get a prepaid card.

A prepaid card does not give you a credit line or score but it is a plastic that behaves like a credit card. There are no credit or income requirements. You just make a deposit to open the card and top it up so you can make purchases.

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