John S Kiernan, Managing Editor
The only way to get a credit card with no credit and no income is to have a cosigner who can supplement your application with their own credit and income. While there are plenty of credit cards for people with no credit, all credit cards require applicants to have an income to prove they can make payments. A cosigner promises to pay back the credit card balance if you cannot, so their credit and income matter much more on the application. Unfortunately, there aren’t any major issuers that allow cosigners, but you might be able to find local banks and credit unions that do.
In addition, it’s worth noting that “income” doesn’t have to be from a salary. If you get money from things like retirement benefits, child support or investments, for example, those count as income. Your assets can be considered on the application, too.
Authorized Users With No Credit and No Income
One way to get access to a credit card without actually owning the account is to become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. You can do this even if you have no credit and no income. The account won’t be in your name, but you can get your own physical card to use for purchases. The primary cardholder may have the ability to limit how much you spend, though.
As an authorized user, you will build credit every month, as long as the account gets used responsibly. The primary cardholder must make all payments on the account. Being an authorized user on a responsibly-managed card can help you eventually qualify for your own credit card once you have an income.
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