Credit cards.. =(

Valhalla1

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 1999
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Well.. let's see. I am 18 years old, and unfortunately I live in a small west tx. town with few oppurtunities for computer professionals. I am CCNA certifited, working on MCSE and CCNP. But right now I'm only making about $30k/year total working as the network administrator/hardware consultant for a local small business, and as a full time Computer Mainframe (MVS and VM) Operator for a datacenter based here in West texas.

Anyway, I guess I'm an abnormal 18 year old, in that I am worried about my financial status now, trying to build a portfolio and investing in an IRA. the only "credit card" per se that I have is my Visa cash/check card, which withdraws from my checking account but is a Visa card, but I don't think its actual credit, so its not helping my credit I guess. I get plagued w/ credit card apps daily, but I never apply for them. I know I need to get one (only one) credit card, and use it sparingly and pay it off to help build some credit.

Unfortunately the only apps I get are from sh!tty $500-$1k credit limit cards with annual fees or high variable intrest rates. I want a card w/ no annual fee, low fixed intrest, decent benifits, and preferably an low or 0% intro APR for 6+ months. But of course, I doubt I would qualify.

I would apply for such a card (American Express Blue comes to mind as one, any others?) but I know that applying for a card and being denied is yet another strike on my credit.

Any advice as to which card I might apply for, or any other advice? should I simply not get any card? I'm worried about using my check Visa card on the internet for purchases, if my info was leaked or I was overcharged, I don't know if I could even TRY to contest the charges, its like writing a check I guess, I can't do it.

 

Imaginer

Diamond Member
Oct 15, 1999
8,077
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Usually better credit card companies would not send anything in unless you have built a good credit history. Try to keep a clean nose with your current card. Burn all of those other cards. Then after a few years, if you want to, apply for a really good credit card.

You would have two now. If you would like, cancel the one you had before... But it is nice to have a visa and mastercard.

I have one too. Use only when needed and never get a whole mulah of cards.
 

Psychoholic

Elite Member
Oct 11, 1999
2,704
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If you have no credit history you have to start somewhere. Take one of the better offers you get through the mail and sign up for it. Use it and build up a history of paying it on time. In a year or so you will have more of a credit history behind you and can apply for a better card with a higher limit.

An alternative is to get into a first time car buyer program if you would like to go that route. That would help your credit history more than a credit card.

You just have to start building a good credit history so they don't see you as a potential risk. Once you have a good credit history don't ruin it.
 

goldboyd

Golden Member
Oct 12, 1999
1,932
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You've got to start somewhere. I got a $300 limit capital one visa a about a year ago, no annual fee. Sure a $300 limit sucks, but i got a mobil speed pass and put all my gas on it, paid the bill on time. Now within the last 3 months, i've got a amex gold (annual fee, but no limit), a usair visa with a 4000 limit, and a yankees visa with a 2000 limit.
 

Yo Ma Ma

Lifer
Jan 21, 2000
11,635
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I don't think you'd have to settle for one that came through your mail. You haven't much of a credit history, but none of it is bad. Sometimes gas cards are easy to get and a good place to start. Also my university has some kind of connection with a MasterCard, perhaps your's does also.

Here a link to the buy.com visa app - you can also find it on the buy.com home page. It seems to offer the features you were looking for.

http://app1.firstusa.com/pcards/buydotcom/index.cfm?mkid=6U1N&promo=XPLA3P031&click_id=999999999999
 

SUOrangeman

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
8,361
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Try looking into credit unions. Get in with smaller accounts (savings/checking/etc.) and you can jump into credit cards with them later. I can't think of a better financial "deal" than going with a credit union.

-SUO
 

kranky

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
20,980
71
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SUO is right, go for a credit union if you can.

Get a gasoline card and that will help build your credit rating.

One thing that concerns me a little is you want a card with a low or zero APR for six months. You shouldn't worry about what the APR is, since you should not be paying any interest anyway. If you can get a card with a 18% APR, take it, as long as it has no annual fee and a grace period which means you pay no interest if you pay the bill in full each month. Just pay it off every month and who cares what the APR is.

You won't get solicitations for the better cards until you have established some credit history, so take what you can get for now. Once you get some history, they will come. Then you can move to a better card.

I agree with you that it's better to use a regular CC instead of a check card for purchases, since you'll have more leverage in case of a dispute.
 

Mday

Lifer
Oct 14, 1999
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i am unemployed, with student loans (going to college) and my parents make very little money. i am happily living with my dinky 1K credit card.

I was rejected several times, then applied via bizrate, for a visa (nextcard)... it's yellow :p

so right now, i am building my credit :D

and with respect to rates, I don't really care, since i pay my bill in full as one should.

i have heard that credit unions are a good idea...
 

Crystal Bay

Senior member
Oct 9, 1999
481
0
0
Like everyone says, Ya gotta start somewhere... Pretty soon you'll have more credit than you want, or can afford.

Be carefull :)
 

compuwiz1

Admin Emeritus Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
26,558
541
126
We all start somewhere. Having worked in finance in the past, I can tell you that until you get established with a credit card, demonstrating prompt payment habits, you will never qualify for a premium card. Most people first get the card with high interest, an anual fee and no frills when they are just getting started. Premium cards are a privilege that is earned over time. Another hint for getting higher limits: Cycle the card often. Run it to it's limit, and pay it off often. You will soon get flagged as a cardholder who has the ability to pay much more than the minimum payment, pays on time and therefore warrants a higher credit line. Never exceed your limit and never be late. I try and get my payments in the mailbox the same day I get the bill. :)
 

Vendetta

Senior member
Oct 9, 1999
964
0
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Hmm, looking at this I count myself lucky... when I first turned 18, I applied for a "College Students VISA" from Capital One, and was accepted. Only $300 limit, but I am not interested in carrying a balance or buying large items, so it's all good. I haven't paid interest in the last 10 months that I have had the card, and I use it constantly for internet purchases.

Perhaps you're applying for the wrong kind of credit card. The trick when starting out, IMO, based upon my experiences compared to that of others, is to deliberately find one of those "hook" credit cards... the ones that they hand out to college students with the intent of sucking them down into endless debt... and then proceed to build a superior credit rating by paying off your balance each and every month.

I can tell already that the strategy is paying off, at least somewhat... I was calling them to pay my bill (the online website was down, blah) and I asked if I could get my limit raised to $500. The rep checked my rating and had no compunctions raising it to $500, and actually said that she's surprised that I didn't ask for something like $1000 or a little higher, since I could qualify for that if I wanted to.
 

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