We’ve all seen the glamor. You’re in line, and the person in front of you slides a sleek card out of their wallet.
Is that a credit card?
You’ve been trying to get your own– calling your local bank: Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America. But you’re getting the usual rejection.
Enough! What’s the deal? Why can’t you get approved for a credit card?
Credit cards aren’t just great for purchases. If done right, they’ll support your credit score – the score that will follow you throughout your life. Building this young gives a significant jump-start on your finances, so long as you treat it well.
Take a deep breath. We’ll figure this out together. Let’s explain why you can’t get a credit card and figure out some alternatives. There are some good ones.
Reasons For Credit Card Denial
If you keep getting denied, there are a few reasons why. They’re not as doom and gloom as you might think.
You’re Not Old Enough to Get a Credit Card
Age is the most simple reason. If you’re under 18, you can’t apply for your credit card. Even under 21, you may have to prove that you have enough income to make your credit work.
If you’re not 18, a credit card might not be for you. But you can still start building your credit. We’ll get to that.
You Didn’t Completely Fill Out the Application
Ensure you filled out your credit application completely. We know what you’re thinking: It couldn’t be me, but if you’re the right age and you have a decent income, there’s a good chance you made a slip.
Think about how many signatures you had to fill out. You may have written the wrong number on your social security. Regardless, it’s worth giving it another look.
You Have a Limited Credit History
Certain credit cards don’t want those utterly new to credit. While it may seem counterintuitive (I can’t get a credit card until I have a credit card?!), card issuers are trying to protect themselves– and you.
Explore credit cards or other alternatives that support credit building with no history. Certain student credit cards can provide a good foundation for learning and growing.
Your Income is Too Low
Taking on a credit card is a risk, and card issuers want to make sure you’ll be able to pay back your debts. If you’re not making any income, you might have an issue. Explore different credit card options – certain college cards may accept lower payments.
Rejection isn’t the worst thing in the world. Before you make enough money, racking up debt on your credit card could ruin your financial future.
Credit Card Alternatives
OK, a credit card may look like it– but there are some real cons involved. If you aren’t 100% sure you can pay off a credit card, it’s not worth it. The fun you’ll get from buying unlimited Starbs isn’t worth the pain you’ll get from a low credit score.
An alternative may be more beneficial in the long run. You’ll be able to build your credit, but with training wheels. It may sound lame, but it’s much better than crashing and burning. So every time you get a rejection, you can tell yourself it’s the universe giving you a sign.
Let’s look at options.
Become an Authorized User
Even less risky than a joint account, becoming an authorized user is an easy way of getting the credit card experience.
As an authorized user, you’ll be added to a primary cardholder’s account, typically your parent’s. You’ll receive your card from here and can make purchases as if it's yours. You’ll be able to build credit and learn about making choices safely. If you fumble and can’t pay back your purchase, it’ll fall on the cardholder’s shoulders.
Of course, don’t spend freely (the cardholder can drop the user at any moment), but experiment with budgeting, spending, and paying off.
Use EXTRA’S Debit Card
Get this: you don’t need a credit card to build credit. At EXTRA, we put out the first debit card that helps you build credit. You heard that right.
The process is simple. You can sign up for EXTRA without any credit checks. We connect to over 10,000 banks– you’ll find yours in there. Once you’re in, we’ll connect you with a Spend Power based on how much you have in the bank. When you buy something with the card, we spot the purchase, then pay ourselves back the next day. The more purchases you make, the higher your chance of building your Spend Power.
At the end of a month, we tally your purchases and report them to the credit bureaus. See what we’re saying? You’ll build credit as you spend smarter with EXTRA.
Your credit card rejections may be a good thing. If you’re too young or don’t have enough income, you may be wise to get your experience elsewhere.
Learn more about EXTRA’s debit card and see if it may fit your needs. As you continue your journey into the financial world, stay knowledgeable. Our blog has got all you need, from debit card rewards programs to the pros and cons of credit cards.
When it comes to finances, take your time. Your credit score is unforgiving – learn what you need before taking the leap.