10 years ago, I was a new immigrant struggling to have my first credit card. Now, I have earned more than 5 million points. I completely understand how difficult to build credit at first. I hope my experience can help my readers.
If you have a very close family member with a valid credit card, you can request an additional card. I added my wife as my additional card user when she arrived in the US. Although the primary member needs to take full responsibility for the additional card, the additional card is reported to the additional card user’s credit report. I strongly recommend American Express as it will give the additional card a different card number, which I believe can boost the credit score faster. My experience is, being 6 months of an additional card user, you should reach a credit score of around 700.
Security Credit Card
If you don’t want to wait 6 months or more and want to have a credit card earlier, you can try a secured credit card. The “Secured” means you must deposit money into the bank. For example, Bank of America has a card: You can deposit $200 to $5000, which would be your credit limit.
I checked secured cards from Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Capital One, and they don’t have the annual fee. So, you don’t need to have some “Rebuilding Credit “cards with the very expensive annual fee. My first credit card was a secured card from Bank of America, too. I deposited $500 and used it for 6 months. Then I checked my credit score, which was around 720. At this time, I requested to transfer my secured card to a normal credit card, and the bank returned my deposit.
Recently, several debit cards say they can help you build credit. The idea is the same as “Secured credit card.” Part of your debit card deposit will be treated as your credit limit. But you apply for these cards as debit cards, which means it is easier as you won’t’ face any credit checks. Also, it is more flexible than the secured credit card as you can adjust your deposit anytime because you can transfer money into your debit card very easily. Usually, these debit card comes with ZERO fees.
These debit cards include:
Chime(If you apply through Rakuten, you will get a $50 bonus)
You can choose one or more methods in this post to start building your credit. I believe in 6-12 months, you are able to improve your score and be eligible for credit cards or other credit products such as loans or mortgages.