Limited or No Credit History Credit Cards from our Partners

By updated on July 25, 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

  • Build credit with responsible use with no processing or application fees
  • Regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Your security deposit can get you a line up to $3,000
  • You may qualify for a credit line increase based on your payment history and creditworthiness
  • Build a financial foundation you can stand on with a card that gets you started
  • Use it like any MasterCard credit card, accepted at millions of locations worldwide

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Journey℠ Student Rewards from Capital One®

Editor's Rating

  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, every month--and pay no annual fee
  • For every month you pay on time, you receive a 25% bonus--that's a total of 1.25% cash back
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Brighten your financial future with responsible credit use--and get rewarded along the way
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • There's no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and rewards don't expire
  • Pick the monthly payment due date that works best for you

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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
  • No limit to the cash back you can earn
  • Your cash back doesn't expire
  • 0% intro APR on purchases until May 2015
  • 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

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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 6 months.
  • As soon as 15 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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Capital One® Classic Platinum Credit Card

Editor's Rating

  • 0% intro APR on purchases until May 2015
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account--even from your smartphone with our mobile app
  • Pick the monthly payment due date that works best for you
  • Pay however you want--by check, online, or at a local branch, all with no fee
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Start building for the future with features that can help you get there

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Apply Now Credit Needed: Limited/No history
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