If you don’t have a job, you may be wondering if it’s possible to get a credit card. The answer to the question is a surprising yes! It’s a little tricky, but with a little diligence and if you’re willing to sign up with a card with a higher interest rate, you can get a plastic of your own. Here’s how to get a credit card even if you don’t have a job.
- Get an extension card. If you’re a housewife or a student with no source of income other than as a dependent on other people who work, have them get you an extension or supplementary card. Once you are in the database of a lender or bank, you will later on receive your own credit card offers in the mail. As an extension card, you will not be legally responsible for any charges incurred under your card, since the principal cardholder will be the one to take responsibility for it. However, it makes sense to pay the principal cardholder if you have a prior internal arrangement.
- Get a secured card. Many students first get a credit card offer from a secured credit card. This means that you have to pay some sort of deposit as a guarantee for future transactions. Usually, a secured card will get a $500 security deposit from you, billed on the first billing cycle. Pay this. As you maintain the card, later on, you can have the security deposit removed. You also have the option of applying for a different type of card from the same lender at a later time.
- Try store credit cards. It’s generally easier to get approved for a store card instead of getting a bank approved credit card, even if you have bad credit or no credit. You’ll start off with a low limit, such as $500, which will gradually be increased as you build your credit history.
- Go to your bank. You’re more likely to get approved for a credit card if you go to the bank where you have your other accounts. You already have an established financial history with this bank so it will be more likely to approve your credit card application. The more money and accounts you have with the bank, the better your chances of approval, even if you aren’t gainfully employed.
- Say yes to pre-approved cards. If you can a mailer offer that says you have been pre-approved, go ahead and activate it. As long as you handle your finances responsibly, it shouldn’t be a problem. If a lender is willing to take a risk on you, see if you can get a credit card with them. Remember, don’t worry about starting off with a low credit limit or high interest rate. These can always be negotiated later on once you have established your credit history with the lender.
- Get someone to co-sign your card. Get your parent, spouse or trusted friend to co-sign on your application. Your approval will be dependent on the strength of their credit history. By co-signing your application, they are making a promise to the bank to be financially responsible for any debt you incur on the card. Don’t ruin your relationship with these people by defaulting on your loans.
As soon as you are approved for a credit card, make sure you are diligent in paying off the balance every single month. If you don’t you’ll be hit with increasing interest rates and penalty fees. Be responsible with your credit card. As soon as there is a change in your employment status, notify the bank so your records can be updated accordingly. When your payment history has been established, usually six months to a year, your credit score will increase and you’ll find yourself getting more offers in the future.