How to Get a Credit Card With No Income

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You can get a certain type of credit card with no income.
You can get a certain type of credit card with no income. (Image: hand holding credit card image by patrimonio designs from Fotolia.com)

Life can be difficult without a credit card if you want to rent a car or buy things from websites. You're also forced to carry cash to stores unless you have a checking account, and you can't easily finance large purchases. Most credit card companies won't open an account for you if you have no income, but some will give you a special type of card that gives you more financial flexibility.

Save or borrow at least $200. This is difficult when you have no money coming in, but it's necessary to get a credit card when you have no income source. This money is used to assure the card issuer that it will be repaid even if you default on the account. Most banks require a minimum of $200. Your credit limit is equal to the money you put up for security, so more money means a higher limit.

Review the terms of several secured credit card issuers. The Bankrate financial website explains that a secured card uses a deposit from you to guarantee the account. This allows the bank to give accounts to high-risk borrowers, including people with no income. Some secured card issuers charge high fees and interest rates, so use a comparison website like creditcards.com to compare them.

Choose the bank with the best secured credit card terms and fill out an application. The bank will give you instructions for depositing your money in a savings account. It must remain in the account for as long as you have the secured card so the bank knows it won't lose money even though you have no income source.

Tips & Warnings

  • A secured credit card helps you build or maintain a good credit score as long as you pay it as agreed, the BCS Alliances debt management website explains. Most secured card issuers report your account activity to the credit bureaus. Prompt payments look very good on your record. You'll be able to upgrade to an unsecured card or get one through a different bank once you have a steady income.
  • You can get a credit card with no income if you can find someone to cosign for you or add you as an authorized user on his account. Creditcards.com warns this is very risky for the family member or friend who adds you or cosigns because that person is fully liable for the bill if you don't pay. It is also risky for you because defaulting may destroy your relationship.

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