Credit Cards

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Best Credit Cards of

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The top questions people ask us

A credit card allows you to borrow money from a credit card company, with the agreement you will pay a percentage of interest on any outstanding debt at the end of each billing cycle. A debit card pulls money directly from an associated bank account. Responsible credit card can help build your credit history. Generally, debit cards can’t do that.

Applying for a credit card is a simple, straightforward process that requires some basic information. Students will need the name and location of their school in addition to a social security number and primary address. For security purposes, you may need to know your mother’s maiden name.

There are plenty of options on the market for people with limited credit history. Shop around to find the card with the lowest APR and fees you can qualify for. If you are having trouble being approved for cards, consider a secured credit card that requires a security deposit or ask a parent to add you as an authorized user on his or her card.

There is no “right” number of credit accounts to build a solid credit history. There are many factors that make up a credit score (and every reporting agency has many formulas), but late or missed payments, frequency of credit inquiries, and your credit utilization ratio are all major factors. When you’re starting out with credit, it can be safer to begin with one or two cards to ensure you can make payments consistently before adding more.
A more advanced move is to optimize your credit utilization ratio, possibly by adding cards or requesting higher limits. Your utilization ratio is the amount of total debt you’re carrying compared to your total credit limits. If you can responsibly manage multiple lines of credit, you can lower your utilization ratio even if you may be carrying a balance on one or two cards.

Receiving a pre-approved credit card offer means that a credit card issuer has verified with a credit bureau that you meet its credit criteria and has pre-approved you as a quality candidate for its product. You’ll still need to apply in order to actually receive a new credit card, at which point you may still be accepted or denied.

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Note: These are general Credit cards FAQs. We also suggest you read the FAQs for the lender company you decide to move forward with.