I just got a SSN and my credit score start point, Im unable to get a credit card because I have no credit history, how do I build a good credit

Asked by Nat, San Diego, CA Mon Sep 20, 2010

I have applied for a target card and a visa,both applications were declined,as I have no credit history. I also recently applied for a new rental property and my application was declined due to no credit history

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Homertsimpson, , San Diego, CA
Mon Sep 20, 2010
Hey Nat, you might want to first start with getting a secured credit card VISA through your credit union or bank. I'd be careful as to which credit cards you are actually applying for; typically department store cards are a no no so try and stick with just one or two major credit cards once you've had your secured bank card for about six months. Make sure you check the FEES involved including any annual fee and always use credit cards with the same respect as your secured card; all the card should be used for is a conveinence for not actually having the cash on you at the time... Pay The Card Off Immediately upon receiving the bill.

If you pay a cell phone, cable bill, telephone, gas card, or other alternate bills, or know someone that trust you enough to be put on their bill, those can also be used to begin tracking your credit and adding to your overall credit score.

Here's a link, http://www.ftc.gov/credit, to the Federal Trade Commission whose job it is to help the public better understand Credit & Loans.

Also if you need to contact the 3 major credit bureau's here's their information:
P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374

P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022

P.O. Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013

I hope this was helpful and for more tips about credit you can email me and I'll send you a FREE credit information package that explains much more.

Web Reference:  http://www.HomeInfoToday.com
2 votes
JR Thrasher, Agent, San Diego, CA
Mon Jul 29, 2013
Alternative forms of credit such as utility bills and cell phone bills are a good place to start.

J.R. Thrasher
(619) 929-0105
1 vote
Keke Jones, Agent, La Jolla, CA
Tue Sep 21, 2010
Another suggestion......Talk to your utility company and cell phone company about reporting on your credit report. If you pay these bills on time they will help to boost your score!
1 vote
Sher Slavin-…, Agent, Carlsbad, CA
Mon Sep 20, 2010
I would go to the bank where you bank and apply for a card there, and if need be, put money into it, so you can start building credit. At first you will be using the credit and funds you have put into the account, but eventually, they will start offering you credit. Be sure to put all your money in the bank, and pay every bill from that account. That will show the bank that you have an income (?) and can pay bills on time.

San Diego County Credit Union offers some good credit card deals. Also, if you have someone who can co-sign with you for a while, that might be a good way to start too. Stores typically will give you a card with a small limit on it, like Macy's. Also do you have accounts like SDGE, cell phone, and other bills now? Be sure you have all that stuff in your own name, and have paid those bills on time.
1 vote
Robert Chome…, , San Diego, CA
Sat Jul 27, 2013
Get a checking account at a bank and get a secured credit card.
0 votes
Michael Abra…, Other Pro, Deerfield, IL
Fri Jul 26, 2013
Apply for a Secured Credit Card
0 votes
Yoann Baral…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Fri Jul 26, 2013
SDGE and telephone companies will make you pay a deposit upfront but in exchange it will help you build your credit.
If you bank with chase for example, opening a checking and savings account AND keeping a good relationship with the bank will help you get pre-approved for a credit card in the future.
Wait a couple of months to see things happening.

Another piece of advice: The more you have check/have some check/apply for a credit card.... the more it will affect your credit, and bring your score DOWN. If you had let s say a 500 credit score and applied for a new credit card, your score you go down a certain amount points, could be 10, 15, 20 who knows. You want to be very careful with that.]

Good Luck!
0 votes
Melissa Goss, , Center Moriches, NY
Fri Jul 26, 2013
Small retail outlets may issue you one. Try one of them, once you have this card in hand, apply for a big chain card company like Capt 1- they are a lot more lenient, and you can get an approval right online.

I do not like having to go the secured card route unless I would have to, only because of the fees.

Get a department store card, let it revolve for a few months, and then apply for a credit card. Keep these cards in superb standing, your score will surge fast
0 votes
Joseph Roraff, Agent, Onalaska, WI
Fri Jul 26, 2013
You can get a prepaid credit card. Just make sure that it reports to all three credit bureaus. You can go into any bank and ask them for one.
0 votes
Lori Cagle, Agent, Escondido, CA
Fri Jul 26, 2013
I would keep trying. Consider gas credit cards (Shell, Chevron), department stores (JC Penney, Macy's, Sears).

Best of luck


Lori Cagle
eXp Realty
BRE #01143057
0 votes
Jessica Bate…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Thu Jul 25, 2013
No cell phone company will just randomly start reporting to the credit bureau so don't waste your time. You can get an unsecured card with no credit, everyone does! Small limit but something to start with, if your trying to buy a home then it is possible now too with non traditional tradelines for FHA. Check out The Lenders Network maybe they would help you out, they deal with a lot of people with credit issues.
0 votes
Kristina Smi…, Agent, Minneapolis, MN
Mon Oct 11, 2010
A pre-paid card is the easiest option by far!
0 votes
Vincent Vill…, Agent, Chula Vista, CA
Mon Oct 11, 2010
Buy a car!, they will most likely lend to you. Also it will create a brand new trade line on your credit report make all payments ON TIME to estabilish a good record.
0 votes
Lisa Thorik…, , San Diego, CA
Fri Sep 24, 2010
Great advice so far, the big picture is to keep yourself disciplined. This is where most people go horribly off course. The gold stars are having long standing open accounts with a history of borrowing and paying it back, borrowing and paying it back. Living within a budget, having a goal, and keeping on track.
Web Reference:  http://www.lchometeamsd.com
0 votes
, ,
Thu Sep 23, 2010
Open up a bank savings account . The bank will issue you a credit card secured by your account. Try to apply for credit cards for items you normally use, as a gas credit card. It's a step-by-step process.

Make 4 cards your goal. Don't go crazy. Pay the monthly balance in full every month. Before you know it you'll have a great score with 4 open accounts. Most banks for mortgages require at least two accounts open for a minimum of two years.

Best wishes, Rudi
Web Reference:  http://www.umboc.com
0 votes
Cory La Scala, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Sep 21, 2010
Keith's information on secured credit cards is right on. Be careful to steer clear of companies that heavily advertise their low interst rates. Once you have one of their cards, they make you pay in other ways by increasing your credit limit, then raising your interest rate, so you're always in debt with them; email me for the one that does this routinely. In addition, some companies also report that your credit limit is "0" so that your credit score is lower, and other companies won't entice you away. If your limit is "0," any balance you have lowers your available credit to a negative number, unless you have other credit lines available. And, it's legal! Imagine even owing $500 when your limit is "0!"

Pay your balance off monthly, and you and your credit can't be help hostage by any credit card company.

Have different types of credit: a car loan, student loan, mortgage, etc.. I know I'm getting ahead of your situation, but it's something to think about as you build your credit. They don't have to be huge loans, just different types. If you can pay most of a car in cash, for example, and pay the rest with an auto loan, you're accomplishing this.

Good luck to you!
0 votes
Tony Savage, , San Diego, CA
Tue Sep 21, 2010
Go to one of the department stores... Target, J.C Penny's, Sears, Office Depot. Only pick one or two of these stores. Buy something and tell them you want to open an account. Keep the balances low and pay them off then go buy something else and pay that off. Keep doing that for awhile and then you will see your credit score start to rise!
0 votes
Robert T. Bo…, , San Diego, CA
Tue Sep 21, 2010
Hi Nat,

There are two good things to do:

1. Get a pre-paid debit card. Usually these will be treated as credit and start to develop your score. They can only do good for your credit score, because it's _really_ hard to be late on these payments! :-)

2. Start with a store credit card. I started my credit history with a Sears credit card.

A few other tips:
Only go for one credit card at a time. Get solid with one, then go for the next one.
Keep your credit balance very low (e.g., 20%) relative to the credit limit you are given. Normally keep it paid off every month.

Robert T. Boyer, Ph.D.
WJ Bradley Mortgage Capital Corp.
Web Reference:  http://www.WJBHomeLoan.com
0 votes
Tanya Starce…, Agent, Pacific Palisades, CA
Mon Sep 20, 2010
Most of the time a car dealer will be one of the first places you want to start. Purchashing a car is a big investment, but if you are in the market for a used vehicle it is a good place to start.

Additionally, the more traditional companies like JC Penney's and Sears are often where you want to start.

Contact Target and Visa and ask them to give you a smaller credit line on your first card. Tell them you are trying to build credit.

You can also try airline cards, like Virgin. They want you to use their cards to build airline miles and might be a good bet.
0 votes
Angela Manatt, Agent, Del Mar, CA
Mon Sep 20, 2010
Good evening

You need to begin with a cosigner to establish good credit.
0 votes
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