This was the question that really inspired me to start this blog. The biggest thing that I hear from my peers has to do with the fear of credit — the fear of “credit building up so big that I can’t handle it.” When not handled correctly, this can easily happen. And obviously this does happen to a lot of people — which is why these credit cards give out such lucrative benefits. Missing payments and building interest is where banks make their money. But the truth is, you should never be paying interest. I tell anyone that I talk to, you should never buy something you don’t have the money for. Treating your credit this way is what gets you in trouble.
But ultimately, anyone in a similar situation to me — 24 (ish) with a salary — and there is no reason you shouldn’t be getting rewarded for your daily spend.
You may be closer than you think
First things first, you may qualify for more than you think. A lot of people have a credit history that they aren’t even aware of. The two largest areas where people our age build credit is:
- Student Loans: if you received student loans in college you have a credit history, and a pretty good one at that! A student loan is nothing more than a line of credit, extended over a longer period time. This won’t qualify you for major premium cards, but it will definitely help get you started
- Authorized Users: if you were added as an authorized user to your parents credit card, you more than likely were developing some kind of credit history. Terms of an authorized user, but make sure you don’t overlook the possibility.
For the purposes of this article we are assuming that you have absolutely no credit, but you can report some kind of income.
If you can relate to this situation, I’d recommend the Chase Freedom Unlimited , here are the basics of the card:
- $150 sign-up bonus after $500 in spend the first 3 months
- 1.5% cash back per dollar spent
- No annual fee
Yes, this isn’t the most sexy card, nor is it the best no annual fee, cash back card you can get. But there are a few reasons I believe this card is a great place to start.
- This is a Chase card. So while you don’t immediately get access to Chase’s incredibly lucrative Ultimate Rewards portal, you will begin earning points that can eventually be transferred to Ultimate Rewards.
- You will be earning bonus points on everything. While not the most lucrative points earning opportunities, you will always be earning bonus points no matter what you spend your money on.
- And finally, there is a high chance you will be approved for the card. Unfortunately, it is so hard to tell whether or not you will be approved for any credit card — but with this being Chase’s no annual fee, cash back card you have a high chance of getting approved. Hold me to it!
Chase has one of the most lucrative reward currencies, as well as being incredibly easy to accrue. For this reason I believe it is important to start earning Chase points as soon as possible. I would begin with one of these cards and then, once your credit is developed I’d apply for one of Chase’s more premier credit cards — the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred. Once you have one of these cards you will be able to transfer all the points you built up with the Freedom and transfer them to your Ultimate Rewards account — which will then allow you to take advantages of all the wonderful benefits at your disposal.
If you have any kind of spending problem, maybe credit cards aren’t for you. But for most, if you treat your credit card as a debit card, the benefits are endless. I’d recommend getting started with the Chase Freedom Unlimited, so as to start earning in the Chase family. Be patient, and the Emirates First Class will come.