Alternative Credit-Building Strategies: What to Do If You Can’t Get a Student Credit Card?

Many people wonder, “Do you have to be a student to get a student credit card?”

As we learned in our last guide, most of the time, the answer is yes.

But don’t worry if you are not a student or if you can’t get a student or protected credit card.

In this guide, we’ll look at other ways to build credit and give tips for people who need those other choices.

You can still work on building or fixing your credit if you follow these steps.

Leverage the Authorized User Strategy

Jane is a young adult who didn’t go to college.

She wants to build her credit but can’t get a student credit card because she didn’t go to college.

credit card economy
Credit card economy

Tip: Jane could ask a family member or close friend with good credit to add her as an approved user to their credit card account.

Jane can build her credit history along with the main account holder if she is added as an approved user.

This is true as long as both Jane and the main account holder have good credit habits.

Explore Credit Builder Loans

John just graduated from college and hasn’t been able to get a student credit card or become an approved user because he doesn’t have much of a credit history.

John could get a credit builder loan from a bank, credit union, or online lender.

The purpose of these loans is to help people build or fix their credit.

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Monthly payments that are made on time are reported to the credit companies, which helps improve your credit score.

Consider Store Credit Cards

Sarah, who has never been to college, is having trouble getting a student credit card because she doesn’t have much of a credit background.

Sarah could ask a store where she often shops for a store credit card.

Stored Credit Card like Target, BestBuy.

Most of the time, getting one of these cards is easier, and if you use it wisely, it can help you build your credit.

Keep in mind that store credit cards usually have higher interest rates and smaller credit limits, so it’s important to pay off the balance in full every month.

Choose a co-signed credit card or loan

Chris is a young adult with little credit history who is having trouble getting a student credit card on his own.

Chris could ask a family member or friend with good credit to apply for a loan or credit card with him.

Co-signing means that both people are responsible for making payments on the account.

This helps Chris build his credit background.

Both parties must be aware of the financial responsibilities and possible risks of co-signing, since missed payments could hurt both of their credit scores.

Even though you usually have to be a student to get a student credit card, there are other ways to build credit if you aren’t a student.

By using the authorized user approach, looking into credit builder loans, thinking about store credit cards, or choosing a co-signed credit card or loan, you can work on building a good credit history and set yourself up for a better financial future.

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