Everyone has to start somewhere when it comes to their financial journey, and if you're new to credit cards you may not be sure which card to choose or where to begin. If you're worried your lack of credit history will prevent you from joining the world of credit cards, don't fret — let's learn more about credit cards for those with no credit history and how to apply for one.
Establishing credit history
If you're not sure if you have a credit history, there is a way to check. You can check any of the three credit bureaus — Experian™, Equifax® and TransUnion® — to see if you have a credit score and what factors are contributing to that score.
There are several types of credit accounts, such as auto loans, mortgages, student loans, personal loans and credit cards. Your payment history, credit utilization (what percentage of available credit you're using), length of credit history, new credit and credit mix (the different types of credit you have active) all factor into your score.
If you don't have any type of active credit account, you won't have a credit history and, therefore, won't have a credit score. If this is where you fall, you may be wondering how to get a credit card with no credit history.
If you're interested in digging into the factors that can affect your score or even getting tips on how to improve it tools like Chase Credit Journey® can help you track and monitor your score.
Credit cards you may be able to get with no credit history
While there's never any guarantee when it comes to applying for a credit card, the types of cards below are generally considered more accessible to those with no credit history.
Secured credit cards
Although Chase does not offer secure credit cards, they are one option for individuals without a credit history. These require a cash deposit when you apply. The amount deposited usually determines your credit limit and will act as collateral to reduce risk to the issuer. With secured credit cards, you may be able to get your deposit back and upgrade to a regular credit card after a period of good payment history. Getting an unsecured credit card with no credit history is generally more difficult.
Student credit cards
One option for an unsecured credit card for an applicant with no credit history is a student credit card. Student credit cards don't require a deposit like secured cards do, and usually function more like a regular credit card. However, the eligibility requirements generally differ from many credit cards. While eligibility can vary between issuers, student cards are usually designed specifically for individuals 18 and over attending college. Chase does not offer student credit cards, but does offer a starter credit card for students and non-students who are new to credit.
Store credit card
While it varies between retailers, some store credit cards don't require a credit history. There are two types of store credit cards — closed-loop and co-branded cards. The co-branded cards work in tandem with banks like Chase so you can make purchases anywhere, which means they may be more likely to require credit history for approval. Closed-loop cards, however, only allow you to use that card at that retailer or within that brand. These types of cards may be more likely to approve individuals with no credit history.
Applying for a credit card with no credit history
Applications for a credit card generally aren't complicated, but there is some information you'll need to have on hand when filling it out:
- Full legal name
- Social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)
- Street address
- Annual income before taxes
- Employment status
- Housing costs (rent or mortgage)
- Phone number
If you submit your application online, you may receive a determination within seconds.
Things to consider
Now that you know the logistics of how to get a credit card with no credit history, there are a few other things you should keep in mind when choosing which credit card to apply for:
- Annual fee: Decide whether you're comfortable paying an annual fee and be sure to check if the card you're applying for has one.
- Interest rates: While cards aimed at individuals with no credit history may generally have higher interest rates, it still helps to compare different cards' rates to make sure you're picking one you're comfortable with.
- Minimum repayment: While you should plan to pay off your balance in full each month, sometimes life happens. Make sure you know what percentage of your balance would be expected as a minimum payment if anything were to happen.
- Rewards: While rewards are generally less common in credit cards for people with no credit history, it's not an impossibility. If that's something you're interested in, check around to see if there's a card that suits your qualifications and offers rewards that you like.
Building up your credit history may seem intimidating, but there are a few different options when it comes to finding credit cards with no credit history. You could start by doing some research, seeing what you qualify for and then applying. If you're approved, you can build your credit (and your credit history) by using that card responsibly. Soon enough, you may just find yourself with more options!