Understanding the ins and outs of credit can be a bit overwhelming at the beginning, but it doesn’t have to be totally perplexing. We’ve gathered some of the most common credit card questions for people who are just starting out. If you’re new to credit or just curious to know more, check out the FAQ guide below.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Credit Card?


In the United States, 18 is typically the minimum age to apply independently for a credit card. That said, people under 18 can be added as authorized users to their parents’ accounts, according to NerdWallet, so ask your guardian if they’d consider this approach.

What Do I Need to Apply for a Credit Card?


Applying for a credit card can be a simple, straightforward process that requires some basic information. This essential info varies from card to card, so make sure to read the fine print carefully, and come prepared with everything you need.

How Do I Get a Credit Card If I Have No Credit History?


Luckily, there are some credit card options for people with limited credit history. One option is to ask your parents to add you as an authorized user on their account.

As an authorized user, you can use your parents card in your name. If your parents have strong credit, this can be a good option. Otherwise, shop around for a card that has a low APR (that’s the amount of interest you’ll be charged). If you’re having some trouble getting approved, consider a secured credit card, like the Discover it Secured card. Secured cards typically require an initial deposit, which then becomes the line of credit. In other words, if you deposit $300 to open the account, your starting credit limit is $300. This deposit is often refundable if you use the card responsibly for a set period of time determined by the issuer.

Another option for those with no or limited credit history is a student credit card. In order to get a student card, you may need to prove that you have a source of income and also provide proof of your student status. Student cards can also come with a lower credit limit, but many of them act in the same way as other rewards cards, offering cash back on purchases and even providing special perks for students, like rewards for good grades.

How Many Credit Cards Do I Need in Order to Start Building Credit?


Your wallet doesn’t have to be filled with plastic in order to build credit. In fact, it might make more sense to start with just one or two cards. It’s important to not miss any monthly payments and not to apply for too many cards at once, as too many credit inquiries may cause your application(s) to be denied, says The Balance. Another option is to set up automatic payments on all of your credit cards so that you don’t have to manually pay it off each month. Just make sure you have enough funds to cover the payment each month. Once you get the hang of it, you can add more cards or ask for a higher line of credit. And remember, your credit score isn’t determined by how many cards you have — it’s all about how well you’re managing your debt, says Credit.com.

How Can You Avoid Some Common Credit Card Fees?


This one’s fairly simple: Pay your bill in full and on time every month. According to Experian, one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the U.S, late or missed payments can have a negative effect on your credit score.

And don’t forget to open all mail and email correspondence from your credit card company. That will ensure you’re up-to-date on any communication about the terms and conditions of your card.

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