Credit card providers will always prefer to lend to established borrowers as first-time borrowers do not have a history of credit and debt repayment.
This shouldn’t deter consumers, however, as a first-time credit card can be the platform to establish a positive credit history and ensure that future attempts to access credit are less complicated.
Fortunately for new credit card applicants, more and more credit card are being designed for those with bad credit and limited credit history.
For consumers new to credit, the goal is to prove that you can be trusted with credit, despite having no history of paying off debt.
You may never have incurred debt in your life and are still having difficulty getting a credit card, so it’s important to be prepared as any rejection of an application could further limit your chances of getting a credit card. credit.
Our guide explains how to prepare for your first credit card and the benefits of building a credit history. If you want to get acquainted with the basics, you can also read our guide on how credit cards work.
Get your first credit card
A common question people might ask themselves is: How can you build a credit history if no one has ever given you credit?
Credit reports can tell you what your situation is so you can know once and for all if you will be accepted for a credit card. Some credit reporting products can also tell you where you can improve your credit score.
It may be worth doing it anyway, but there are other steps you should take and check before parting with your money for a credit report service.
Getting your hands on your first credit card may take some preparation to make sure your credit history isn’t tainted with denials.
Having your name on utility bills like gas and electric or cell phone bills can improve your score on credit card checks – unless you have a history of missing payments, of course. .
Credit card providers are also wary of fraud and will assess the risk potential of every new customer, especially one with little or no history of bill payment or credit.
This means that if you are not on the voters list in your area, it may be more difficult for credit card providers to confirm your address.
Likewise, if you keep changing your address or have long spells of unemployment, it can also limit your opportunities as it could signal to the lender that you are unreliable or that you are a potential fraud threat.
Essentially, credit card providers only see your name on a series of invoices along with your employment and background, so on the personality front there isn’t much you can do.
There is no hassle with a rejected credit card application, so make sure that your financial situation which can be verified by lenders does not work against you.
First-time credit card precautions
It might be worth applying for a credit card with the same issuer that provides your checking account, as your history with them may work in your favor, but this is not guaranteed, so check their eligibility criteria carefully first. .
Likewise, you may receive an email or letter in the post informing you that you have been pre-approved for a credit card. This is a marketing ploy used by credit card companies to launch additional applications.
The information they base their marketing on may be years out of date or even completely irrelevant to you, so you can still be rejected even if they claim you are pre-approved.
Another precaution to take is to avoid falling into the trap of instant decision making. Credit card offers and marketing claiming to provide instant decision making can be appealing to consumers looking for their first credit card.
You might think you’ll know right away and get your first credit card fast.
However, they could just as quickly reject you. More importantly, however, is that an instant decision is possible, not guaranteed. If your criteria clearly obviously does or does not meet the requirements, then you could get an instant decision.
In many cases you will not get an instant decision and if this is your first credit card, it is more than likely that the credit card provider will need to access your credit report first and perform a thorough check before accepting or rejecting your request. .
Credit cards from credit creators
The important thing is to be realistic about your chances because heaps of rejected applications will only damage your credit status.
Credit cards are often marketed to people with bad credit histories, but there are some on the market that cater to those who do not have a credit history or have never had a card. credit before.
The chances of getting a good credit card deal on your first credit card are slim, but remember your first credit card could be a stepping stone to better rates and benefits, so take it one step at a time. time.
No credit history
Building a credit history can be difficult, especially if you don’t know what might be affecting your status and what actually shows up on the report that vendors are seeing.
You might not have a credit history because you’ve never needed credit before, which might sound like a paradox, but lenders want to see that you can handle credit debt.
Unfortunately, even if you have a credit card but used it on behalf of your partner, you’re unlikely to improve your odds.
Those who are new to UK and those who have never had a UK credit card are also likely to be considered new to UK credit cards.
Students and people starting their first jobs will also have limited credit histories, but there are credit cards for students, or at least designed to help them build a credit history.
If you have kids, consider getting them ready early before they can apply for credit. Get some tips in our guide “How to teach your teenager about credit cards”.