iQuanti: A lot of “firsts” can happen when you turn 18. But if you’ve ever wanted a credit card, you’re now officially the minimum age to apply for one. Having a credit card can make your life more convenient, as well as help you to build your credit score. But it can easily confuse someone who’s never applied for one before. Here’s how to get a credit card at 18 in five steps.
- Research Your Options The first step to getting a credit card is to find a reputable card that appeals to you. To do this, check out dozens of trustworthy sites compile and update lists of offers from well-known banks and financial institutions. Browse through them and explore your different options. Take note also of the features and perks of each option. For example, some student cards offer cash back rewards where you’ll get around one cent for every dollar you spend. Others may have special low or zero introductory interest rates. Pro tip: Narrow your search by looking for “student cards.” These cards cater to first-time credit cardholders. Young applicants will have a much easier time meeting their requirements for acceptance.
- Review the Terms and Conditions with an Adult Yes, you may be 18 and can make your own choices. But getting a second opinion from an experienced adult is always a good idea. Many adults have a lot of practice applying and using credit cards, and they’ll notice details about the offers that you might not catch. Also, they can answer any questions you have and might potentially save you from submitting an application to a site that’s not reputable.
- Have Your Personal Information Ready Credit card applications will need your personal information so that they can verify who you are and if you’re creditworthy. To expedite the process, you’ll want to have the following information ready:
The basics like your name, address, phone number, email, birthday Your Social Security Number Financial information such as how much money you earn or any revolving debts you have
In addition to verifying your identity, the credit card company will also pull your credit history. This is just to make sure that you don’t have any other outstanding debts or judgments against you.
- Fill Out the Application at a Secure Location With your specific card in mind, it’s time to get applying. Nearly every credit card now allows you to submit an application online. However, you won’t want to apply from just anywhere. Because you will have to share your private information, make sure you fill out the application at home or somewhere with private Wi-Fi. Don’t apply for a credit card in a public setting over someone else’s Wi-Fi network since this will leave you vulnerable to identity theft. Once you’ve submitted the application, approval can take as little as just a few seconds. However, for first-time applicants, issuers will sometimes require a manual review. This might take an extra few days for a representative to review your application and determine if you meet their standards for eligibility.
- Wait for Your New Card Once the issuer has accepted your application, the last thing to do is wait for the physical card to arrive in the mail. This period usually takes between 5 to 7 business days. In the meantime, you can start creating an online account either through the company’s website or by downloading their mobile app. You’ll also definitely want to link your bank information and sign up for Auto Pay so that you’ll never miss a payment. Source: iQuanti