Let’s face it: Buying on impulse is one vice almost all of us are guilty of. We do it all the time while [supposedly] window shopping, web surfing or going away on vacation, leisurely through bazaars or browsing for curios at souvenir shops. The temptation to buy on impulse is ever so stronger nowadays, with more and more people relying on their credit card for impulse purchases, particularly online. Sniping at that rare souvenir mug on eBay? Guilty. Huge discounts on Mafiawars mystery crates? Maybe that premium chalet for Farmville only for 99 FV cash? Guilty as charged. Dare I mention a huge selection of various gadgets and doodads you can only get online, or gaining bragging rights for being one of the first owners of a cutting-edge smartphone not even out on the street? These enticing offers compel more and more people (especially younger age generations) to apply for credit cards. Pity them. The pain starts here.
Applying for that very first credit card is a rather hellish experience many people go through, especially for those of us just starting out on their own (like fresh college graduates). Having no previous credit history, it’s almost as good as rejection given that banks (or anyone for that matter) rarely trust a total stranger who comes in through their doors, asking for credit without any prior transaction from said financial establishment. As a first timer, it’s best to consider trying out various options like secured credit cards. Secured credit cards are “secured” with a deposit that’s held in an account and used when you default on your payments. Many of these secured credit cards have minimum and maximum deposit limits. It is interesting to note that some creditors only use your initial deposit in cases of severe delinquency (that would be 5 -6 months past due, depending on their provisions). Be warned, though, that some secured credit cards place deposits in an interest-bearing account. It’s a good idea to ask questions and find out if your deposit will earn interest and if so, how much it would actually cost.
In any case, applying for credit (low interest credit cards, instant credit cards, secured credit cards, cash back credit cards, etc) can be a rather expensive affair. Always be sure to have some cash prepared beforehand, and remember to bring proof that you are actually employed or have sufficient funds for an account deposit. Read the fine print before agreeing to any terms or conditions imposed by your bank. Always check for the best deals you can get within budget. Remember, you’re just starting out, and you’ll want to get off on the right step towards building your credit rating. Good luck!