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Can you get a credit card with no credit?|

Yes, you can get a credit card with no credit history. That said, you'll be limited in your options. The best credit cards for borrowers with no credit are typically secured credit cards. Secured credit cards have low credit requirements and are designed to help you build your score. To be approved, you'll typically need to put down a refundable cash deposit, which will act as your credit limit for the card.

~What is the fastest way to build credit when you have no credit history?|

Here are the faster ways to start building credit if you currently have no credit history:

  1. Get a secured credit card. Using a secured credit card responsibly can help you build up a history of good credit management. This increases your score over time, and can open the door to a wider range of credit products in the future. To get the most out of your secured credit card, use your card to make small purchases only. Then, pay them off quickly to avoid carrying a balance.
  2. Establish credit with Experian Go. Experian Go is a free program that allows consumer with no credit report to generate one for free. To sign up, you'll need to create an Experian membership account and answer some basic questions about your finances. Then, you'll receive tailored advice on how to continue your credit journey.
  3. Get credit for your bills. Sign up for Experian Boost®ø to get credit for the bills you already pay on time, such as your utility bills and streaming subscriptions. This is a strong strategy for building credit from scratch because you won't have to qualify for a credit card in order to start increasing your score.
  4. Become an authorized user. If you have the opportunity to become an authorized user on someone else's credit card, doing so could help you build credit without qualifying for your own card. Be sure that you only consider becoming an authorized user if you're confident in the primary account holder's ability to responsibly manage credit. The account's balance information and payment activity will appear on both parties' credit reports, which can help build credit, so long as you keep your balance low and make on-time payments.

~What do you need to get a credit card with no credit?|

To get approved for a credit card when you have no credit, you'll need to meet these requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old with proof of reliable, independent income
  • Demonstrate that you have the financial capacity to afford monthly payments
  • Provide proof of identity, such as your Social Security number

If you decide to apply for a secured credit card, you'll also need to provide the required security deposit for the card, which typically starts at $200.

~Is having no credit the same as having bad credit?|

No, having no credit is not the same as having bad credit. Having no credit is overall a better position to be in than having bad credit, because it's faster to build credit from scratch than to recover from negative marks on your credit report. That said, both no credit and bad credit can be a barrier to achieving your financial goals.

When you have no credit, lenders won't have access to the data they need to determine how reliable you are as a borrower. That can make them reluctant to lend to you, and makes it difficult to be approved for credit. On the other hand, a borrower with bad credit has a credit history that indicates difficulty responsibly managing credit. That, too, makes lenders reluctant to lend to them, because it makes the borrower appear risky.

~How long does it take to build a credit history?|

When you're building credit from scratch, it can generally take anywhere from three to six months before you accumulate enough credit history to generate a FICO® Score . To start building credit faster, consider becoming an authorized user, signing up for a secured credit card, using Experian Go to generate your credit report and getting credit for your bills with Experian Boost.

~What should I look for in a starter credit card for no credit?|

The primary thing you should look for in a starter credit card is a set of applicant requirements that you're able to meet. Primarily, steer clear of credit cards designed for good or excellent credit borrowers. It's unlikely you'll be able to qualify for these until you build credit. To avoid applying for a credit card you won't be approved for, narrow down your list to only cards that you're able to get prequalified for based on your income and credit.

Beyond that, look for a credit card that has the benefits you want. While you won't typically see the same competitive rewards and perks that credit cards with more stringent credit requirements offer, you can still find secured credit cards and student credit cards that offer some rewards or the opportunity to earn a welcome bonus.

Last, look for a starter credit card with no or low annual fees. That way, you won't have to pay yearly for having the card.

~What are the best credit cards for applicants with no credit?|

The best credit cards for applicants with no credit are secured credit cards and student credit cards.

Secured credit cards have lower credit requirements because the lender can rely on your security deposit to cover you if you were unable to afford your monthly payment. That makes them an accessible way to begin building credit, and they can act as a stepping stone to a wider range of credit card down the line. Some secured card issuers even automatically evaluate you for an upgrade to an unsecured credit card after you prove you can manage a credit card well.

A student credit card is a credit card designed for students who haven't built up a credit history yet. They're often unsecured, easy to qualify for and typically come with no annual fees. Sometimes, student credit cards also offer rewards.

~Can you get a credit card with no credit and no income?|

It would be challenging to qualify for most credit cards if you have no credit and no income. Lenders generally look for evidence that you'll be able to comfortably afford your bills before approving your application for credit.

That said, you can ask a family member to add you as an authorized user on their credit card account. This allows you to establish credit and work toward building a good credit score.