To apply for a credit card with no credit, begin by comparing starter credit card offers for people with limited or no credit history to find the least expensive, most rewarding option. Then, navigate to the card’s online application page, provide the necessary personal and financial information, and submit the application. It takes minutes to apply, and once you submit your application, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few weeks to get a decision.
You can see a step-by-step breakdown of how to get a credit card without credit below. Before you get started, though, it’s a good idea to confirm that you do indeed have no credit history. You may have a credit history if you were an authorized user on your parents’ or someone else’s credit card account. An error could also cause you to have a credit history without you realizing. If it turns out you do have credit, it can either help you qualify for a better credit card offer or force you to consider cards for people with bad credit. WalletHub allows you to check your credit score and report for free.
How to Apply for a Credit Card with No Credit
Compare starter credit cards. There are several different starter credit cards for people who have no credit. You can choose a card based on who you are – for example, a student credit card. Or you can get a credit card based on features, such as secured or unsecured credit cards. Secured credit cards require a deposit, while unsecured cards do not. The best cards have a $0 annual fee, rewards and credit limits starting around $200-$300.
Read the fine print. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions for the credit card, such as any fees you could be charged or any transactions that are not allowed, like balance transfers or cash advances. You should also review the terms and conditions of your card’s rewards program if it has one.
Fill out an application. You will need personal information such as your name, address, and Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. The credit card application will also ask you about your finances, including your income and monthly rent or mortgage payment. Most card issuers will request bank account information as well. It typically takes only a few minutes to fill out the application.
Wait for a decision. If you apply online, you may get an approval decision within minutes. In any case, you should find out within 10-14 business days. If you don’t get approved, aim for a card with lower approval standards, such as a secured credit card.
Other things to consider before getting a credit card:
It's worth noting that any previously-existing relationships you have with banks may come in handy, too. If the bank you have a checking account with offers a credit card, that will likely be an easy bank to get a credit card from.
Your established relationship with your bank gives them access to your day-to-day deposit account history, which doesn’t show up on your credit report. So, that’s extra potentially good information that’s available to your bank and not to other card issuers you might apply for a credit card with.
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