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Choosing a Credit Card

Having no credit history at all can prevent you from gaining access to credit. Before deciding which credit card to sign up for or how you would like to build credit, do your research. Remember, you’ll want to stick with the company you chose for the long haul (think ten years or more).


When used responsibly, credit cards can be a great thing. Know yourself and keep an eye on how you use them. They can be a one way street to debt and poor spending habits.


Here are some things to consider as you decide which credit card to apply for:

  • What will you use the card for? (Mileage, cash back, rewards, gas cards?)
  • What is the interest rate, or APR, if you carry a balance over from month to month?
  • What potential fees are associated with the card?
  • Will you need a cosigner? Many financial institutions have guide lines to tell you this before you retrieve a copy of your credit report. If you’re a young person with no credit history and limited employment history, you may be asked to provide a co-signer. This person makes their own history available and will be second in line to pay if you are late on payments. This is a big responsibility for any co-signer, as their credit rating is now aligned with your responsibility in managing the credit card.
  • Shop around. There are many free credit cards that could be a good starting point for your credit building history.

Related Links

Shopping for a credit card


Credit Reporting Agencies

Where to view your free credit report

Your goal should be to pay off your credit card bills in full at the end of each month..."

-Suze Orman