Today we will be discussing which credit cards you can get if you have just recently turned 18 years of age.
When an individual turns 18 it is often difficult to get a typical unsecured credit card because a long-standing credit history is lacking (in most cases). However, there are a few routes you can take in order to get the credit card you need – you just need to consider where you are financially and where you’d like to be within the next 2-4 years.
Step One: Evaluate Your Current Conditions
Now that you’re legal you have the opportunity to take out a credit card in your own name, but since the world of credit is probably new to you choosing just one card from hundreds of options can be overwhelming. The first question to ask yourself is whether or not you’re going to be in school – if you are, then there are student credit cards available to you with some decent promotional rates and custom rewards programs:
Citi mtvU Platinum Select Visa Card
This credit card is for students who are looking to get a credit card for the first time. The benefits of having this Citi Platinum Visa Card is that it allows the individual to build credit as well as gives them reward points. The rewards are granted from spending money at specific businesses like move rentals, restaurants, book stores, etc. and are redeemed different depending on the student's GPA. This not only is an incentive to build your credit score, but also to get good grades while you are in school.
(For additional credit cards made especially for students, see our student credit card section.)
If you aren’t going to college or pursuing a higher education, don’t fret… you still have options! You may want to consider:
Total Visa Credit Card
This credit card is normally issued to individuals who have poor credit, or limited credit. In your case, for not having any credit at all it is the most likely to approve you.
New Millennium Bank Black Diamond Visa/MasterCard
This credit card is for individual who are having difficulty in obtaining a standard unsecured credit card (this credit card is by far the most popular for people who are looking to establish credit history.)
All Access Prepaid Visa Credit Card
This credit card is very easy to get approved for because it is a prepaid credit card that you must reload. If you do not reload this card with cash, then the you cannot spend money at all. It is a great way for someone to build credit without the risk of destroying it, especially since your spending is reported to the various credit bureaus.
(For additional credit cards for bad credit or people with no credit history, visit our bad credit credit card / no credit credit card section or our prepaid credit card section.)
If you apply for a student credit card and you’re not in school there may be consequences, so it’s best to build your credit with cards that are designed to help establish and build credit history.
Step Two: Establish Healthy Borrowing & Repayment Habits
Student credit card or otherwise, it is important as a new consumer of credit to establish healthy spending and repayment habits with your new credit card. Not only will these first few months of borrowing weigh very heavily on your credit report, but you will likely be paying much higher interest than most “regular” credit card customers with established history. Why? Because you don’t have credit history, credit companies try to prepare for the worst by giving you a higher interest rate; these rates often indicate higher-risk clients since about 70% of first-time cardholders max out their credit cards within the first six months. Even worse, of that 70%, and additional 53% go on to default on that debt within a two-year period, so it’s easy to see why they would hedge their bets with a higher interest rate.
Step Three: Mark Your Calendar
If you can successfully maintain good credit habits, you should generally try to apply for a new credit card of the regular variety within 8 - 12 months of your first credit card. At this point you will have established a solid history and will finally be eligible for higher limits, lower interest rates, and better reward programs. While most low interest credit cards might still be off the table (most require 3-5 years of near flawless credit history) that doesn’t mean you still can’t get a good deal. Try looking for credit cards from major issuers such as Citibank, Chase, or Bank of America that require “good to excellent” credit – though you may not have excellent credit just yet, you’re well on your way to getting there.
Team Your Credit Network