Establish Credit History with a credit card

Getting a credit card is probably the easiest way to establish credit

If you have no credit history, getting a credit card to establish credit history is the easiest way to get started. Establish a good credit history and your future auto loans, mortgage and any other types of loans will be cheaper as you get lower rates.

People who have no credit normally fall into three categories, namely students, immigrants, or expatriates and lastly, those who just have not established any credit history. Different credit cards to establish credit are availble to these groups to . Let us explore them.

Students - Students can probably get a regular unsecured credit card easily. There are lots of credit cards from the major credit card issuers that is designed specifically to the college student. In fact, it is easier to get a credit card when you are in college and not earning any money than it would be to get a card after college when you have a job but no credit history. The college student should get a student credit card, use it wisely, pay off your bills on time and start establishing a good credit history.

Immigrants/Expratriates - New immigrants or expatriates in the US will find it harder to get just a credit card because of a lack of credit history even though they may have excellent credit. The best way to establish credit for a new immigrant is to open a checking and savings account. Ask the branch manager to issue you a secured credit card. A secured credit card, unlike a regular credit card, requires a deposit in your bank account as a collateral against the balance you run up on a card. Your credit limit will be depend on the amount of your deposit. Most banks will give you up to 100% of your deposit. Pay off your bills every month, establish credit history and you should get an offer from your bank or other credit card issuers for a regular unsecured credit card within six months. Make sure your bank or secured credit card issuer reports to the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

Alternatively, if you already have any American Express credit or charge cards issued in your home country, American Express will issue you one US Amex Card for every American Express card that you have. You might want to check out the various US versions of American Express Credit Cards as aside from the charge cards, not all versions of the Amex Cards are availble abroad.

Once again, start using your new US Amex cards once they are issued to you, begin to establish credit and you should get credit card offers within six to eight months in your mail. You might then want to apply for a Visa credit card as some places still do not accept American Express credit cards.

Not a student, but have no credit history - The advice would be the same as the one given to immigrants and expatriates. Open a checking and savings account. Ask your branch manager to issue a secured credit card to you. Make sure they report to the three major credit bureaus.

Final Words - One final note (especially for students who are moving out from your parents home and new immigrants), make sure your current address is updated and current. Not having an updated address or an inconsistent address may affect any credit application. Make sure your phone number is valid. It may be preferable to have a couple of months record of your utility bills as some credit issuers may want to see that for applicants with no credit history.

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