Getting a Credit Card with Limited or No Credit History
Almost 20% of Americans don’t have a credit score. This can be for a variety of reasons like not having a bank account or newly arriving in the United States. Whatever your reason for having limited credit history, it no longer needs to prevent you from getting a great credit card.
For this particular category, we did our research to pull the cards together that offer the best chance of approval for new creditors. Many of the credit cards in this list don’t entirely rely on credit scores to approve new cardholders.
Multiple cards here use an underwriting method called cash-flow underwriting which looks at data beyond your credit score such as income, bank balances, and spending habits to approve you for their card. Accordingly, you can be confident that amongst these cards there is a great option for you. After you compare these top credit cards for limited or no credit, simply click ‘APPLY NOW’ to complete your application.
Rewards Credit Cards for Limited or No Credit
Can you earn rewards even with no credit history? Yes. Never having credit before won’t stop you from earning rewards. Some of these offers don’t even charge an annual fee to get you started with no out of pocket expenses.
How to Establish New Credit
The traditional catch-22 of credit cards was to get a credit card you needed credit history. To build credit history, you needed to demonstrate timely payments of your existing credit products. This outdated practice has been addressed with credit cards that are specifically designed for Americans with no credit history. The easiest first step to establish your credit is to open a credit card. Credit cards are unique in that they are often considered the starting point for your financial journey. It’s unlikely to be approved for a larger loan until you have a reputable history paying your creditors back.
Notable benefits of credit cards for limited credit are features that dynamically respond to your credit behavior. For example, your credit limit and rewards rate could increase after you make multiple payments on time. Additionally, you may have your interest rate lowered as the bank becomes more comfortable with you as a creditor.
Benefits to Look For
In addition to offering you access to credit, these cards go above and beyond to make it easy to manage your card. Important features consist of:
1. Online bill pay
2. Digital card & mobile wallet integration
3. Credit score monitoring
4. Daily transaction reporting
5. Straightforward rewards redemption
Using your credit card responsibly is key to unlocking the best credit card offers. The best way to do this is to use a card that has software (or an app) built around it to make your life easier. Some apps even come in with budgeting and autopay features to keep you on track with your payments.
Student Credit Cards vs Cards for Limited Credit
There is some overlap between student cards and credit cards for no credit history since both are meant to begin your personal financial journey. A key difference between these cards is student credit cards sometimes require a guarantor - like your parents - to be approved for a card. If that isn’t an option you a card for limited credit history is likely the best option for you.