Credit Cards for No Credit
|Credit Card||Best For||Credit Score||Annual Fee||Welcome Bonus||Apply Now|
|Discover it® Secured Credit Card||No Credit Overall||300–850||$0||Cashback Match||Apply|
|First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card||Starters||350–850||$39||N/A||Apply|
|Discover it® Student Cash Back||Students||580–850||$0||Cashback Match||Apply|
|OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card||No Credit Check||300–850||$35||N/A||Apply|
|Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card||No Annual Fee||500–850||$0||N/A||Apply|
|Total Visa® Credit Card||Unsecured (No Deposit)||300–850||$48–$75||No cash advance fee for the first year||Apply|
Table of Contents
- Best credit cards for people with no credit
- How do I get a credit card with no credit?
- What credit cards can I apply for with no credit?
- How old do you have to be to get a credit card?
- What does “insufficient credit history” mean?
- How long does it take to build credit?
- FinanceJar credit card rating methodology
Best credit cards for people with no credit
These are the best credit cards for people with no credit.
Best overall credit card for no credit
Best starter card for no credit
Best student credit card for no credit
Best no-credit-check credit card for no credit
Best credit card for no credit with no annual fee
Best unsecured (no deposit) credit card for no credit
How do I get a credit card with no credit?
To maximize your chances of approval, try the following:
- Apply for a card with your bank: If you already have a checking or savings account, find out if you qualify for a credit card issued by your bank. While standard credit card issuers can only make their decisions based on the information on your credit report, you have a more personal relationship with your bank. This gives you more leeway when explaining your credit situation and can improve your chances of approval.
- Get a cosigner: If you’re having trouble getting your first credit card, you can ask someone to be your cosigner (family members and friends are ideal). By cosigning, they take on responsibility for paying your debt if you aren’t able to, which minimizes risk for your lender and encourages them to relax their requirements.
What credit cards can I apply for with no credit?
When applying for credit cards with no credit history, your best options are:
- Secured credit cards: These require a minimum deposit when you open them, which serves as collateral if you miss one of your payments. This insulates your lender from risk, which means they may be willing to offer you a card even if you have no credit to speak of.
- Student credit cards: Cards marketed towards students tend to have especially favorable terms because they’re governed by special regulations meant to protect young consumers. Issuers are also usually willing to offer them to people with minimal credit because students aren’t expected to have been using their credit for long.
Credit cards with no credit check
You can also apply for credit cards whose issuers do not check your credit. Generally speaking, these will always be secured credit cards, since they’re meant for people with little to no credit history. Expect most unsecured credit cards to require a credit check.
How old do you have to be to get a credit card?
You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card. However, you can still be added as an authorized user to your parent’s credit card if you’re under 18. This is a good way to establish a credit history in high school, so you’ll have a more robust credit score by the time you’re an adult.
If you’re between the ages of 18 and 21 with no credit history, you’ll probably be required to provide evidence that you can pay your bills independently (i.e., without parental help) as part of the application process.
What does “insufficient credit history” mean?
Lenders may cite “insufficient credit history” when they deny your credit card application. This means your lender has determined you have no credit accounts or that your accounts have been open for too short a time. Both of these things indicate that you’re a higher risk as a borrower.
Getting a credit card application approved can be difficult with a short or nonexistent credit history, and the cards you may qualify for tend to have higher interest rates and lower credit limits.
How long does it take to build credit?
If you have no credit history, it will take at least six months to generate your first credit score. Raising that score to a level where you can apply for better credit cards will take a lot longer, so it’s best to understand how to build your credit by developing good credit habits early.
How to start building your credit
Here are some ways to establish a credit history when you have no credit:
- Become an authorized user: When someone adds you to their card as an authorized user, their on-time payments on their card will also appear on your credit report. This means that being added as an authorized user can boost your credit score.
- Report alternative information: Some specialized services, such as Experian Boost, will report your rent, utilities, or cell phone payments to the credit bureaus.
- Apply for a credit-builder loan: Credit-builder loans are designed for people with bad credit or no credit to increase their credit score via regular payments.
- Apply for a no-credit-check card: As mentioned, some secured credit cards don’t require a credit check at all. Your issuer may look at other financial factors, like your employment and income, during the approval process. You can use that as a starter card and build your payment history so that you qualify for a better card down the line.