You can’t apply for a credit card with a cosigner. None of the 15 largest credit card issuers allow cosigners on your first application. However, if you apply for a credit card from Bank of America, U.S. Bank, or USAA and get rejected, you may be able to re-apply with a cosigner. The second time around, your cosigner’s information will be included on the application along with your own. This obviously delays getting a credit card, since you have to go through the application process twice. It’s also bad for your credit standing, because each time you apply for a credit card, there’s a credit inquiry that causes a temporary dip in your score.
One alternative to getting a cosigner on your credit card application is to ask a family member to add you to their account as an authorized user. All major credit card companies allow authorized users, most with no minimum age requirement. Authorized users can get a card attached to the account in order to make purchases. They’ll also build credit if the primary accountholder pays the bills on time and doesn’t max out the card’s limit. But authorized users aren’t legally responsible for any payments. Adding an authorized user is simple and can usually be done online.
The other alternative to getting a credit card cosigner is applying for a lower-level credit card. Secured cards provide the highest approval odds, and some don’t even check your credit history when you apply. This is only an option if you’re at least 18 years old and have a bit of income, though.