Credit Cards for Limited or No Credit History

You're on your way to great credit, but you have to start somewhere. These credit card offers from our partners are available to those with limited or no credit history and are a great step forward to building your credit history. Currently in school? Check out these partner offers just for students. Federal laws impose restrictions on issuing credit cards to individuals under 21 unless the applicant has the independent ability to repay debt or has a co-signer over the age of 21 who agrees to accept joint liability for the account.

See offers from our partners below.

primor® Secured Visa® Gold Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Limited/No Credit
  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! Super Low Fixed 9.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate!
  • No minimum credit score requirements! We invite all credit types to apply! No processing or application fees!
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.
Apply Now at primor's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
9.99% (Fixed)
Annual Fee
$49
Credit Needed
Limited/No Credit

First PREMIER® Bank Secured Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • No credit history required to apply for this credit card
  • Application response in as little as 30 seconds.
  • This is a genuine secured credit card - not a debit or prepaid card.
  • If approved, fund your Security Deposit to open your account. Once open, you will have the opportunity to build your credit limit up to $5,000.
  • Opportunity to build your credit card limit over time by adding funds to your Security Deposit.
  • Quarterly FICO score on your monthly billing statement.
  • Zero fraud liability protects you from unauthorized charges. Restrictions apply.
  • Your First PREMIER Bank credit card account is reported to the Consumer Reporting Agencies each month.
Apply Now at First PREMIER® Bank's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
See Issuer Website
Annual Fee
See Issuer Website
Credit Needed
Bad Credit

UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • Unlike your Prepaid Card, UNITY Visa secured card can help you build your credit. Apply online in less than 5 minutes, and you could be approved today!
  • No Minimum Credit Score required; low fixed interest rate of 17.99%; Fully refundable FDIC security deposit* required at time of application; if you have a min of $250 to deposit immediately, you can start now!
  • No application fee or penalty rate
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • 24/7 online access to your account
  • *See the Cardholder Agreement for more details.
Apply Now at OneUnited's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
9.95% for 6 months
Regular APR
17.99% (Fixed)
Annual Fee
$39
Credit Needed
Bad Credit

primor® Secured Visa® Classic Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! Low fixed 13.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate!
  • No minimum credit score requirements! We invite all credit types to apply! No processing or application fees!
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.
Apply Now at primor's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
13.99% (Fixed)
Annual Fee
$39
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

Centennial® Classic Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Fair/Bad Credit
  • Must have a checking account to qualify
  • Your $150.00 Security Deposit remains yours if you close your account with a $0.00 balance.
  • Credit card response in 60 seconds or less.
  • $0 Fraud Liability on unauthorized charges. Restrictions apply.
  • Reports monthly to the major Consumer Reporting Agencies.
  • Know the score! Quarterly FICO score on your monthly billing statements
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
Apply Now at First PREMIER® Bank's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
See Issuer Website
Annual Fee
See Issuer Website
Credit Needed
Fair/Bad Credit

The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank

Apply Now Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • Unsecured credit line increases - After the first year, your account will be regularly reviewed for credit line increases with no additional security deposit required.
  • Monthly FICO® Score for free - get your updated FICO® Score each month when it is provided to us from the credit bureau.
  • Build your credit - performance is reported to all three major credit bureaus, unlike a prepaid card.
  • Flexible credit line - the amount of your deposit determines your initial credit line - up to $3,000 and increase your credit line anytime with additional deposits.
  • Easy funding options – several convenient options to easily fund your security deposit.
  • Worldwide acceptance - use it anywhere Visa is accepted.
  • Quick, easy application - apply online today!
Apply Now at Merrick Bank's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
18.70% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$36
Credit Needed
Bad Credit

primor® Secured Mastercard® Classic Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Bad Credit/No Credit
  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! Low fixed 13.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate!
  • No minimum credit score requirements! We invite all credit types to apply! No processing or application fees!
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.
Apply Now at primor's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
13.99% (Fixed)
Annual Fee
$39
Credit Needed
Bad Credit/No Credit

primor® Secured Mastercard® Gold Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Bad Credit/No Credit
  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! Super Low Fixed 9.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate!
  • No minimum credit score requirements! We invite all credit types to apply! No processing or application fees!
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.
Apply Now at primor's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
9.99% (Fixed)
Annual Fee
$49
Credit Needed
Bad Credit/No Credit

Next Millennium

Apply Now Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • Enjoy a $1,000 Credit Line!
  • No Credit Checks & No Credit Turndowns!
  • Buy Now...Pay Later!
  • Low Monthly Payments!
Apply Now at Next Millennium 's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$19.99 (monthly)
Credit Needed
No Credit Check

Luxe Signature

Apply Now Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • 0% Interest for Members!
  • The Power to Purchase!
  • Shop with Confidence!
  • Low Monthly Payments!
Apply Now at Luxe Signature's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$20 (monthly)
Credit Needed
Bad Credit

Credit Cards That Help Build Your Credit

Updated: February 7, 2018

CreditCards.com's Best Credit Cards for No Credit 2018:

For more credit cards tailored to college students or recent graduates with a short or no credit history, see our student credit cards.

When you are just starting out, it can be tough to land the car you want, the apartment you need and even the job you are hoping for. Why? Because so much of our society centers around having good credit. But in a few short months, you can establish credit and be on your way to financial bliss. Here, we look at:

  • How can I get a credit card if I have no credit history?
  • How can you build your credit?
  • How do I get a credit card at 18?
  • Do you have to have a job to apply for a credit card?
  • What information is needed to apply for a credit card?

Find out more about building credit:

How can I get a credit card if I have no credit history?

  1. Make sure your credit reports are complete. Check with the 3 major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – and make sure they have files for you. If not, they may be missing basic information, such as your Social Security number.
  2. Check your score. If you have a credit file, check your credit score either through MyFICO.com for about $20 for each score or your VantageScore for free at CreditCards.com.
  3. Look into a credit-builder loan. Establish a bank account with your local credit union, then check on getting a credit-builder loan. These are small loans designed to help you build your credit. But don’t spend it – instead pay it back each month.
  4. Consider a secured card. The fastest and easiest way to build credit is with a credit card, and a relatively easy card to land is a secured card. That’s because you put down a refundable deposit that is used to secure your credit limit. Just make sure the card issuer is going to send your credit habits to the credit bureaus.
  5. Research, then apply for one card. With your score handy, look at cards you are likely to get, checking annual fees and any other charges that might be incurred. Only apply for one card so that you don’t negatively impact your score with multiple credit pulls.
  6. See about being an authorized user. If your credit is so thin you can’t land a card of your own, see if you can become an authorized user on a responsible consumer’s card. Just make sure they pay on time and in full each month, because their good credit habits will go on your file. Not all card issuers report authorized users’ information to the credit bureaus, so check. In a few months, you will be able to apply for your own card.

How can you build your credit?

  1. What’s your score? You need a baseline.
  2. Are your credit reports accurate? Correct any errors with the 3 major credit bureaus.
  3. Do you pay bills on time? If not, start immediately.
  4. Have you applied for a credit card? This is the fastest way to build credit.
  5. Do you make a charge each month? This helps you build your credit month by month (just make sure you pay it on time).
  6. Can you pay in full each month? If you pay in full each month, you avoid paying interest charges and you build your credit that much faster.

How do I get a credit card at 18?

  • Do you have credit files? The first thing you should do when you turn 18 is to check your credit files with the 3 major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. You want to make sure that a) you even have a file, and b) that the file is accurate. Have the bureaus correct any incomplete or inaccurate information.
  • Do you have income? If you are a young adult under 21, you are required by the Credit CARD Act of 2009 to have your own income if you want a credit card of your own.
  • What’s your score? You’ll need this to know which cards you qualify for. Only apply for one so your score doesn’t take a hit.
  • Could you be an authorized user? If you don’t have your own income or your credit file is too thin (not enough credit information), look into being an authorized user on a responsible consumer’s credit card account. You are not legally responsible for the bill, but you benefit from their good credit habits. Also, unlike co-signing, it’s easy to be taken off an account as an authorized user.

Do you have to have a job to apply for a credit card?

If you are over 21 years old, you don’t have to have a job to apply for a credit card, provided that you have reasonable access to income, for example that of a partner or spouse. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau amended the CARD Act of 2009 in 2013 to allow at-home parents the ability to get a credit card without a job.

However, if you are under 21, it gets trickier, because in an attempt to protect young consumers, the 2009 law requires them to have income of their own when applying for a card. This does not apply if you are applying as an authorized user.

What information could be needed to apply for a credit card?

  • Name
  • Phone
  • Address
  • Years at address
  • Whether you own or rent
  • Monthly housing payment
  • Income
  • Income source
  • Liquid assets
  • Whether you have a bank account
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • U.S. citizenship
  • Dual citizenship

Best Starter Credit Cards for People with No Credit:

Best ForCardAnnual Fee
Flat-rate RewardsCapital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card$39
Dining and GasDiscover it® chrome for Students$0
No Annual FeeCapital One® Platinum Credit Card$0
Everyday SpendingDiscover it® Secured Card$0
Online ShoppingDiscover it® for Students$0
Growing Credit LineCapital One® Secured Mastercard®$0
No Foreign Transaction FeeJourney® Student Rewards from Capital One®$0
Building CreditOpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card$35
Fast Pre-qualificationGreen Dot® Platinum Visa® Secured Credit Card$39.99

Join the Discussion

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The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by the card issuers or advertisers. Additionally, the card issuer or advertiser does not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

See the online credit card applications for details about the terms and conditions of an offer. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's web site.

* For additional rates, fees and costs see issuer's website for detailed pricing and terms.