Much has been written about the problems with getting credit cards if you've had financial problems like bankruptcy in the past, but the difficulties experienced by those completing their first credit card application aren't so well documented.
Although it might sound strange, lenders are often as cautious – and in some cases more so – about providing credit to individuals who are applying for a first time credit card.
This is because there is simply nothing for them to base their assessment on; if you haven't borrowed money before a lender cannot judge whether you present a secure or risky investment.
Therefore, for those applying for their first credit card no credit history can be a major stumbling block. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that there is no way forward.
Prepare for your first credit card application
If you are hoping to get your first time credit card for a specific purchase, planning well ahead of the event might mean you end up paying less in the long term.
Realistically, the first card you apply for may not provide you with the most competitive rates. However, if you have prepared well enough in advance, this shouldn't matter.
Apply for a credit building credit card and use your card regularly – no matter what the interest rate is – and repay it in full every month before the due date. By adopting this technique you will find that not only will you not have to pay a penny in interest, but you will very quickly notch up a good credit rating allowing you to apply online for another card, at a more competitive rate, having boosted your chances of acceptance.
When it comes to using your first credit card to build credit repaying your balance in full and on time should be your primary focus, not spending or borrowing more money than you can pay off in one go.
Your first credit card limit is also likely to be relative low; another reason why it is essential to plan in advance. There are many cards which are ideally suited for a first timer, you just have to pick the option that's right for you.
Boosting your credit rating
Of course, adopting the above method to try and get your first credit cards will be of no use whatsoever if you don't stick to the normal rules.
This means making sure you are on the electoral roll, checking there are no errors, inaccuracies or omissions in your credit history and that your name is not incorrectly linked with another individual who has financial problems.
If you choose a credit building credit card suitable for first time applicants and make sure you repay your balance on time, don't pay less than the minimum and keep the rest of your credit rating in tip-top condition, it won't take long before you will qualify for some of the better credit card deals on the market.
You can compare the credit cards available to first time credit card holders in our first credit cards comparison table.