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Credit cards are an important financial tool for many households. You can use them to manage your spending and earn valuable credit card rewards, among other uses. Here are some of the easiest credit cards to get approved for, even if you don’t have a strong credit history.
Secured credit cards
Secured credit cards are available to almost any applicant. For this type of card, instead of relying on your credit score, credit card companies ask you to put down a deposit equal to your credit line. A $200 limit would require a $200 deposit and a $500 limit requires a $500 deposit, for example.
Secured cards are great because they help you build credit like any other credit card, but you don’t need to credit to get one. Just make sure to pay it on time every month, or it could be an expensive proposition.
Here are three secured cards with no annual fee you may want to consider:
Once your card is open, you don’t have to use it for every purchase, or even every month. Just make a small purchase on the card every month or two and pay the card off in full and you’ll get the same benefits as someone who uses the card daily.
A late payment stays on your credit report for seven years, so always pay on time no matter what. Do your best to keep your balance as low as possible to minimize costs and get the best results for your credit.
Student credit cards
Students are not expected to maintain the same credit as financially established adults. If you’re a student and brand new to credit, you may have some student-specific credit cards available. In many cases, student cards have better terms than cards for people with bad credit.
If you’re brand new to credit and sign up for a student card, it’s just as important to always make payments on time. This is the start of a long credit journey for you. The decisions you make today go with you for a decade or more. Always pay your cards on time and avoid spending on purchases you can’t afford to pay back in full each month.
Here are some of the best student cards to consider with no annual fee:
Just because you’re new to credit or made some missteps in the past doesn’t mean you don’t have a bright future ahead. You can build a positive credit history by following these important habits:
Always pay on time: The number-one factor in your credit score is your payment history. On-time payments and months where no payment is due give you a positive payment mark. Late and missed payments drag down your score for seven years.
Keep balances low: Credit balances are the second biggest factor in your credit score. Pay off credit cards in full every month to avoid interest. Try to keep balances below 20% to 30% of your total available balance for the best credit score.
Avoid unnecessary new credit: It’s okay to apply for a new credit card or another loan if you really need it, but you shouldn’t apply if you don’t have a specific need for it. New credit applications and new credit accounts both have a temporary negative effect on your credit.
Your payment history and credit balances make up over half of your score, so those are definitely the most important places to focus. There are other factors in your score, but focusing on the top two factors should be enough to establish or build a good credit score.
Anyone can be a #creditboss
It’s easy to point to lenders and credit bureaus as the source of your credit woes, and that may be the case in some instances. But your credit score and credit report ultimately come down to your own decisions and credit history. Those are things you control.
Keep your credit front of mind, and you’ll be on track for a great credit score ahead. With enough effort for a long period of time, you may even join the 800+ credit score club where you get access to the best loans and interest rates around. Just don’t ignore your credit or you could be paying for mistakes for years to come.
The information related to the following cards has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer: Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Chase Freedom®, Chase Slate®, Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card, United ClubSM Infinite Card, United℠ Business Card, British Airways Visa Signature® Card, The World Of Hyatt Credit Card, Citi Diamond Preferred Card, Citi Rewards+ Card, Citi Rewards+ Student Card, CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard, Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite™ Mastercard, American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card, Citi Secured Mastercard, Costco Anywhere Visa Business Card by Citi, Citi Prestige Credit Card, Citi Premier Card, Citi Simplicity® Card
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