Credit cards can be fantastic financial tools when used correctly. Not only can they earn you cashback and signup bonuses, but they can help you build your credit score.

However, the problem for many is they have no credit score in the first place. How do you get a credit card to build your credit if you don’t have any credit for lenders to look at?

Don’t worry — you have options.

In this article, we’ll go over a few card options available, explain how to apply for credit cards, and give you some tips for using the card.

 

What Cards Can I Get with No Credit Score?

There are several cards designed for people with little to no credit score. Here are some options to consider:

Student Credit Cards

Student credit cards are simple, unsecured cards with low credit limits. They’re designed for college students to start building credit and taking advantage of rewards, but you can get one as a non-student as well.

Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards require you to put down a refundable deposit as your credit limit. For instance, putting down $300 gives you a $300 limit you can spend up to.

Some card companies will let you convert this to an unsecured card after a history of timely payments.

 

Authorized User

Cardholders can add authorized users to their credit cards. Authorized users get their own version of the card, but the primary cardholder is responsible for making payments.

Becoming an authorized user on someone else’s card is one of the easiest ways to establish a credit score. This way works especially well for younger people, such as college students, because their parents may be able to add them as an authorized user.

 

How to Apply for a Credit Card with No Credit

Applying for your first credit card can be fairly straightforward. After looking through your options, you can apply either online or at a bank branch.

When applying, you’ll fill out some basic personal information, such as your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and your income.

Income can come from a job, investments, or someone else (such as a spouse or parent).

 

Building Credit with Your Card

Once you get your first card, it’s time to start trying to build credit. Here are a few tips that might work on your score with your new card:

Make Payments on Time

Payment history is one of the most important credit score factors. Simply making each monthly payment on time can help build your score each month.

Keep Your Balance Low

You should try to pay your full balance every month. If you can’t do so, keep your balance below 30% of your limit at the very least. Keeping your credit usage low can help your score.

A great way to do this is to only use your card on necessary purchases, such as gas and groceries. You can avoid getting into debt while earning rewards on everyday purchases.

Don’t Close the Card

Your account age can impact your score as well. The longer your card is open, the more it can help your score, so don’t close it.

 

Start Your Credit Journey with a Credit Card

Getting a credit card with no credit is easier than you might think. You can get a student card, secured card, or start as an authorized user on someone else’s account before getting your own.

Regardless, you’ll just need some basic information about yourself, your income, and your housing cost to apply. Once you get that card, make your payments on time and keep that balance low.

Follow these steps, and you might be well on your way to building a strong credit score.