Having a credit card has almost become a necessity for many Americans living the American dream. It is become increasingly more difficult to qualify for loans, pay for car rentals, and even book an airline ticket. Plastic money has made its way into the hearts and wallets of millions of people. With so much “free money” floating around are there any limitations to who can get a credit card? Or if you spend money are you automatically qualified to own a credit card? Let’s take a closer look
There are four major types of credit cards out there today; Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Each of the cards will obviously offer different rates depending on your credit score and each can be used at different places and for different things. Some places accept Visa and some do not; some accept MasterCard and some do not. So make sure you do all your homework and find out which card will benefit you the most.
Students are among the group of people these days that can qualify for a credit card. Credit card companies have made it much easier for college students to qualify for credit cards today. Students most likely will fall into two categories when it comes to qualifying for a credit card:
1. Secured credit cards- secured cards are credit cards that are secured by your own deposit on the credit card. The biggest advantage to having a secured credit card is that you pick the card limit so you’re more likely to stay out of “real” credit card debt. The other advantage to having a secured credit card is that it functions exactly like a regular credit card and credit bureaus can’t tell the difference on their reports between the two. As long as you tell your bank to report all activity on your credit card you can really start to begin building your credit.
2. Regular credit cards- A regular credit card will have a lower interest rate than a college student credit card will and most likely have a higher balance. The advantage to having a regular credit card is that you have a lot more money to use. The disadvantage to having it is that you can get into a lot more debt if you’re not responsible with it.
Teenagers also have the luxury of getting a credit card. Not exactly the ones we think of, but credit none the less. Many parents are using what is known as a prepaid credit card to help teach their teenagers how to budget their money and be responsible with what they have been given. Prepaid credit cards work much like a prepaid phone card. The parent can put a certain amount of money onto the card and then when the money’s spent it is gone. There is no way of it every going into an overdraft protection because it isn’t connected to a checking or savings account. It can be used anywhere you would use a regular credit card and has become very popular among teens and their parents.
Anyone else looking to get a credit card will do well to remember that having credit is a privilege and if it is misused it can cause some serious harm to your credit history and standing. Individuals with bad credit trying to rebuild will do better using secured credit cards which can help them rebuild their credit score, or even sticking with a prepaid credit card until they can get their spending limits under control. Those that have great credit already will have no trouble applying and qualifying for a credit card. The biggest thing to remember is to check your credit report before you try as sometimes there are inaccuracies and errors that occur mistakenly.
So who can get a credit card? Well, there aren’t a whole lot of people out there anymore that won’t qualify for some sort of credit card; secured credit card, store credit cards, or regular credit cards. It all depends on how you use them, and whether or not you keep the balance paid off.