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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2005
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    283

    Clueless about credit cards

    I'm 24, and I've never had a credit card. Well, it's probably about time, but I don't want a card just to have one. I'm looking for a card for these few simple things:

    Build up my credit a bit ( I have a bit of credit, but I've often lived in roommate situations, so I haven't had a lot of paid bills in my name)

    Buy things online

    Get a video card

    The thing is, I have no idea where to start in looking to obtain a card. I don't have a bank account right now, so merely getting a debit/credit card isn't an option. I suppose I could get a store credit card, but the only ones in my area are Target and the dreaded Walmart. Target is an option, and I don't shop there too often so there's not a big fear of spending money I don't have, but I'm not sure that they are affiliated with any major card company (and if not, I wouldn't be able to go online or get a video rental card, so one out of three isn't the best). Any idea where to start looking, while at the same time not getting ripped off with fees? Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2005
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    I have a Target card, it's a VISA card so you can spend it anywhere that takes VISA, not just Target. It was really easy for me to get since I had a little credit already built up from having my student loan in my name.

    We just make sure we pay the bill in full every single month so we don't get any fees or interest. I don't even know how high the interest rate is, because we never need to buy anything that we can't afford to pay off.

  4. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    25
    If you want to get a card mostly to build credit, and don't plan to make it a lifestyle (which of course would be a bad idea anyway) then I'd recommend getting a no-fee card. If you pay off your balance each month, then you don't have to worry about the interest rate at all.

    If you have trouble getting a card, you can get a secured card, whereupon (at least in Canada) you put a sum of money (usually min. $500) into an account and the bank holds it as collateral against your card. Your limit will be the same as the deposit. After 6 months to a year of using this kind of card the bank should be willing to give you a full-fledged card.

    I was 29 before I was able to get credit cards... bad student loans from when I was 17 prevented me. It was only learning accidentally about secured cards that enabled me to feel like a full member of society. It's amazing how credit is totally necessary to do so many things. It shouldn't be that way, but it is.

    Good luck!

  5. #4
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2004
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    171
    In terms of flexiblity and ease of use, I think Visa is probably your best bet. I'm pretty sure you can just go to Visa.com and apply.

    I never carry cash. Instead, I regularly carry balances that I pay off every month.

  6. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
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    1,563
    Without a bank account I'm not sure how you can get a credit card - perhaps a store card (or catalog if you don't want to support certain businesses - my mother-in-law started with an LL Bean card to build her credit when she realized everything was in her husband's name) would be the best way.

    You should check out a local credit union as well.

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    283
    Thanks, guys. I think I'll try to get the Target card first. It seems like the least amount of hassle, and since it's a Visa card as well, I can use it for the few outside purchases I need.

    I do want to get a bank account, by the way. In California, you need two forms of picture ID, and none of the banks would accept my expired driver's license from Missouri. Well, long story short, it basically comes down to me having to get a passport since I don't go to school, my work doesn't have photo ID, and I don't have a driver's license ( I have ID, but no license since no car and no need for one right now). Until I have a hundred dollars or so, that's not going to happen. But in the meantime, a Target or other Visa card sounds like a good idea. And I do think that we have a secured card system as well, and that one of my boyfriend's coworkers was talking about one of those. I'll have to ask around. Again, thanks.

  8. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    15
    Quote Originally Posted by happyhats

    I do want to get a bank account, by the way. In California, you need two forms of picture ID, and none of the banks would accept my expired driver's license from Missouri.


    See if the Target VISA will put your picture on the front of the card. (Does VISA still do that?) Then you can use your new card as your second piece of ID for opening a bank account.

  9. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    down by the bay
    Posts
    767
    I don't recall having a second form of picture ID when I got an account at Bank of the West in California for my PayPal account. Maybe try another bank?

  10. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    283
    Bank of the West? Hmm, I don't think that we have one of those in town. So far I've tried Bank of America, Washington Bank, Wells Fargo, and our town bank (Redlands, CA, if you know it) and have had no luck.


 

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