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Limited or No Credit History Credit Cards from our Partners

By updated on November 1, 2014

Having no credit or a limited credit history can be a pain when it comes to simple things like turning on utilities in your name. It can also make it nearly impossible for you to qualify for a mortgage. Credit cards are an excellent way to build your credit history. Credit cards for limited or no credit are a great solution for those who want to make day to day purchases and raise their credit score. Many of these cards are secured or prepaid credit cards.  Find answers to your questions about the best ways to build your credit score using credit cards.

If I have no credit history, how can I get a credit card?

If you're a student, some credit card companies have credit cards specifically for you. If you're under the age of 21, you may need a co-signer to verify that you can make the payments. If you aren't a student, you can try to qualify for a regular credit card, called an unsecured card, or you can apply for a secured credit card.

A secured card is specifically for people who have no credit history or who are trying to improve their credit score. You secure your credit line with a cash deposit that is held in an account. You then use the credit card like any other, including paying your balance each month.

Where can I get the best secured credit card?

Plenty of banks and credit card companies offer secured credit cards, so be sure to check with your bank as you shop around. Many of the cards featured on CardRatings.com's page specifically for people with limited or no credit are secured credit cards. Keep in mind that some secured credit cards may allow you to transition to an unsecured account after a length of time.

CitiGroups Citi Secured Card won CardRating.com's Best Credit Card of 2009 award in the "No Credit" category because it allows consumers to earn interested on their security deposit in a CD account and, after 18 months, consumers with good account histories can upgrade to an unsecured credit card account.

What is the most important thing I need to know about building my credit score with a credit card?

One-third of your credit score comes from timely payments. Make your payments on time every month. Also, be sure any credit card you're considering regularly reports to all three credit reporting agencies.

Are there credit card reward programs for people like me with no credit history?

Yes, there are cards with rewards programs, though mostly for unsecured cards and for college students in particular. If you're opting to apply for a secured credit card, plan a little ahead and look at the reward programs available for unsecured credit cards through the same company.

Capital One® Secured MasterCard®

Editor's Rating

  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly
  • Regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Your minimum security deposit gets you a $200 credit line
  • You may qualify for a credit line increase based on your payment history and creditworthiness—no additional deposit required
  • It’s a credit card—accepted at millions of locations worldwide
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • Get free access to your credit score and learn how everyday decisions can affect your score using Capital One® Credit Tracker

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Apply Now Credit Needed: Bad
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Journey℠ Student Rewards from Capital One®

Editor's Rating

  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase
  • For every month you pay on time, you receive a 25% bonus—that’s a total of 1.25% cash back
  • There’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and rewards don’t expire
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Pick the monthly payment due date that works best for you
  • Get free access to your credit score and learn how everyday decisions can affect your score using Capital One® Credit Tracker

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Apply Now Credit Needed: Limited/No history
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Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Editor's Rating

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories and no sign ups needed to earn cash rewards
  • Redeem the cash back you earn for any amount, any time
  • Cash back doesn’t expire and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases until August 2015; 22.9% variable APR after that
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Get free access to your credit score and learn how everyday decisions can affect your score using Capital One® Credit Tracker

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Apply Now Credit Needed: Limited/No history
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First National Bank Secured Visa® Card

Editor's Rating

  • Your stepping stone to credit that can grow with you.
  • You provide an upfront deposit - from $300 to $5,000 - and that sets your credit limit, subject to our credit approval.
  • How you use your card will reflect on your credit rating with the three major credit bureaus.
  • There is no charge for receiving your FICO® 8 Bankcard Score.
  • You could qualify for additional unsecured credit — without sending an additional deposit — in as few as 7 months.
  • As soon as 11 months after opening your account, you could be eligible to apply for an unsecured card from First National Bank — and get your deposit back!
  • Use you First National Bank Secured Card anywhere Visa credit cards are accepted.

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Apply Now Credit Needed: Limited/No history
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UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card - The Comeback Card™

Editor's Rating

  • A secured credit card to help rebuild your credit
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Credit line secured by FDIC insured fully refundable deposit of $250-$10,000 submitted with application
  • Low, fixed interest rate (not variable)
  • No application fee or penalty rate
  • 24/7 online access to your account
  • Good for car rental, hotels; anywhere credit cards are accepted!

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Apply Now Credit Needed: Bad
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