Every U.S. citizen above 18 years is eligible for a credit card provided they meet its minimum requirements for qualification. The credit history or FICO score of an applicant is crucial to having a credit card application accepted. For young adults still in college, gaining access to a credit facility (and credit card) is substantially tougher than a professional having years of working experience – provided such professional hasn’t experienced bankruptcy in times past.
Young adults and individuals who were delinquent on a prior credit facility are likely to have limited credit restricting their access to certain credit facilities. In the credit card arena, a young adult having limited credit will find it difficult getting an unsecured credit card and where one is offered, credit limits are likely to be low and purchases charged a maximum APR.
If you fall into the category of individuals with the need to improve credit rating, you probably are wondering which credit card is best for you. While there’s no specific answer to this question, have it in mind that even when a right credit card is gotten, improving credit scores can only be achieved with regular and timely balance payments, and staying within the credit limit of your credit card.
While searching for a card designed to help consumers improve their credit rating, you might want to take note of the following information:
1. Credit Reporting
Credit card issuers are required to report to at least one of the credit bureaus. The big ones are Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union, and Innovis being the least common one. When choosing a credit card to repair credit, you’ll want to make sure you’re reported regularly to all 3 credit bureaus. Some card issuers will offer means through which you can receive a free credit report from one of these bureaus.
2. Secure Cards vs. Unsecured credit cards
Some consumers are made to believe that secure cards are very different from the unsecured credit cards. As a matter of fact, the only major difference separating both is that a security deposit is required in the former. Card users on both credit card types are reported to the credit bureaus. For persons having limited credit, you can use a secure or unsecured card to build credit. It is often advised that young adults without a stable income go for a secure card to ensure they spend not more than they earn which is vital when building a good credit history.
3. Shopping Cards vs. Prepaid Cards
Shopping cards are basically credit cards issued by the store or chain of stores. These cards are usually not issued on the popular card networks (Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Discover) thereby limiting places where they could be used.
Prepaid cards do not offer a form of credit to the consumer so a prepaid card is very unlikely to have any impact on your credit score – though like bank accounts having a prepaid card may be included in your credit history.
Finally, any credit card that’ll help you improve your credit score isn’t a magical card. You don’t just get one and watch your scores get better. Gaining higher scores is achieved over time in some cases, it requires years of credit card use throughout which you must refrain from:
- Exceeding the Credit limit
- And making a Late Payment
If you don’t already know what your FICO score is you should contact any of the credit bureaus. Knowing your exact score could help you monitor your progress over a period.
Just to give you an overview, here are some reasons why your credit score is likely to be below average:
- Late Payments on Medical Bills & Card balances
- A delinquent Credit Facility
- Having had a credit card for less than 2 years (for young adults)
- Having occasionally exceeded Credit Limit
You should always go for a credit card charging the lowest APR you can find, having no annual fees and offering sizeable credit limits you can handle. An alert system should be in place to notify you about making a payment. Ensure you don’t accumulate debt pay off card balances in full at the end of each month or billing cycle period.