5 Steps To Get Your First Credit Card in the USA

first credit card

Knowing how to get your first credit card in the USA can be challenging so I simplified everything into 5 key steps.

Are you planning to build credit? Do you want to pay down your current debt? Would you like to earn bonuses and rewards? Then applying for a credit card can be a decent option for you, but only if you learn is earnin app safe and it didn’t become a suitable variant for you. 

There is a variety of credit cards and their types. Each type serves a particular financial purpose and can be used by various consumers, such as students, employees, business owners, etc. Knowing everything about credit cards and how to get one can be challenging.

Keep reading to learn how to get your first credit card in the USA.

What You Need to Receive a Credit Card

There aren’t many tedious requirements to apply for a credit card. Yet, you need to make certain all the following documents are in order, as this is what the card issuer will review and check before issuing the card to you.

  • Proof of Identity (a birth certificate or a Driver’s License)
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of Income – mention all your streams of regular income.

How to Get the First Credit Card

Do you really need a credit card? Yes, this is one of the most common payment options these days. What are the most popular payment methods in the USA?

Source: https://www.zippia.com/advice/credit-card-statistics/ 

According to a recent survey, cash is the most widespread payment method (30%), with debit cards (27%) and credit cards (21%) following it. It is necessary to admit that credit cards are popular with elderly consumers between 50 and 64 years old (78.4%). In contrast, the vast majority of Americans between the ages of 30 and 49 (82.9%) own a credit card.

In order to get the first credit card, you need to:

1. Research Available Options

You may already know that there are many different types of credit cards. Each card is suitable for particular financial needs and aims. If you are a student, you may need to get your first student credit card. 

Frequent travelers will benefit from having a travel rewards credit card. Business owners and entrepreneurs may require a business credit card. Choose the one that meets your current purposes.

2. Check Your Credit

Lenders will always review your credit report and score to define your creditworthiness. A record of the client’s financial history is a credit report. It may be ordered at one of the major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The borrower’s credit activity is compiled into a credit report. 

You can order a free copy of this report annually to ensure your rating is in good standing. This three-digit number may impact the decision to issue a credit card with decent interest rates.

3. Know the Terms and Conditions

It may be rather enticing to sign the first contract you are offered and finally get your credit card. However, every service provider may offer different interest rates, introductory fees, perks, and other rewards. 

Your goal is to compare several options and check what you can qualify for. Make sure you understand the agreement before you sign it, and check the interest rates, applicable fees, and other potential charges.

4. Get Pre-Approved

Certain credit card providers have pre-approval options. It can be helpful to check your approval odds before submitting an application. Your credit history, credit rating, and other monetary factors will be taken into account to define pre-approval, but you will be able to avoid a hard credit inquiry. Pre-approval offers can be obtained in the mail or on the company website.

5. Apply for a Credit Card

Once you determine which credit card you need for your finances, the purpose of getting a card and whether you can pre-approve, it’s time to apply for it. You may go to a physical location of the local bank or credit union. 

You can also apply on the web and save time. Make sure you mention all the sources of regular income on your request to boost your debt-to-income ratio.

How to Utilize Your Credit Card Responsibly

The way you use your credit card tells a lot about your responsibility and defines the future terms and potential lending conditions you can be eligible for. Here is what you need to consider to be a responsible credit card owner.

  • Make On-Time Payments

Please consider that credit card owners’ payment history plays an important part in their credit ratings. Making regular monthly payments to cover the credit card balance will help you maintain a decent rating and avoid interest rates.

  • Keep Your Account Balance Low

It’s also significant to stay below your credit limit. The credit utilization ratio can affect your credit rating, so you should keep it lower than 30%.

  • Know Credit Card Fees

Another tip is to learn about all the applicable fees before you sign the agreement and get a card. Make sure you understand all the cash advance fees, balance transfer fees, foreign transaction fees, and late fees. Some credit cards also charge annual fees.

  • Use the Card on a Regular Basis

Regular credit card usage will help you establish a decent history of frequent bill payments. Make sure these payments are on time. Pay the balance in full to prevent penalties and high-interest rates. 

Apart from that, using your card can be safer compared to cash. You will take advantage of fraud protection and automatically get a record of each transaction when you receive your monthly statement.

  • Stick to a Budget

In order not to accumulate debt, you should stick to a budget. Manage your personal finances and review your monthly statement to check where and how you spend the funds. Make confident you have enough money set aside for necessities and basic needs such as utilities, rent, and mortgage.

Summing Up

All in all, getting your first credit card in the USA isn’t difficult if you know what steps to take. Compare several options and choose the most suitable credit card with rewards and bonuses. Stick to a budget and maintain a low credit utilization ratio. Check your monthly statements and be aware of the applicable fees to take advantage of your credit card.

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