Greetings, dear readers! Today I will tell you how I managed to get a credit card as a student. I had additional difficulties because I am a citizen of another country and came to America recently.
I had additional difficulties because I am a citizen of another country and I came to America recently.
I needed a credit card so that I could rent a place to live. In America, not all landlords rent without a deposit or income statement, or credit rating. In the first months of living in America, I had a hard time finding a decent place to live because I didn’t have a credit card. What do we do when we don’t know the answer to a question? That’s right, google helps. The MYFIN website helped me find banks that give credit cards to people with no credit history. For that, I am eternally grateful for this service.
Let’s cut to the chase
Getting a credit card in the US is not as easy as opening a bank account. After all, it’s a high risk for a financial institution to issue a loan. To know how reliable a borrower is, the U.S. has introduced a system of credit history, which determines this degree of reliability. If you are a new permanent resident and many other students and recent graduates of our country, you will not have any credit history and therefore will not qualify for a full loan.
But there is a way out. You have to build a credit history. Then, in the best-case scenario, after 6-12 months you can qualify for the most real credit card from the best American banks with various programs earning miles/refunds, percentage of spending/special travel offers, hotel offers, etc.
When building a credit history the most important thing is awareness and focus. This is the time when you work for your card. You pay off your card. The most important thing is to pay off everything you spend in full and on time every month.
Credit Card in the U.S. Without Credit History
If you don’t have a credit history, you need to start building if you intend to live in the United States. You can’t get any credit without it. Including education, housing. As you have already realized, in some cases you can’t even rent an apartment. I recommend starting to build your credit history with ‘secured credit cards.
This type of card is issued to the borrower against a deposit (usually $200 – $300), which is returned when the account is closed. Refunds are provided if all charges on the card have been paid on time. This is how the bank ensures itself in case of non-payment. That’s where the name of these cards comes from. Also, the bank imposes an annual fee on this type of card, which is lower for small and little-known banks in America.
The second option. Preface
The United States is not a cashless society, but only a few people have enough cash on them to make large purchases.
Most Americans, including students, keep credit cards in their wallets. They prefer the convenience of reading plastic cards in stores and using them to buy goods online and pay for cab rides or carshare services.
But the million international students attending U.S. colleges and universities have trouble finding lenders ready to give them credit cards. Banks usually ask for a Social Security number, which a student may not have. And they want to see a good credit history to make sure the student will make payments. But it’s hard to build that history without a credit card.
How the startup is helping students
A startup founded by entrepreneur Kalpesh Kapadia is making a difference. Kapadia was also an international student without a credit card. He came to the United States from India 20 years ago to earn a master’s degree in business administration before succeeding on Wall Street.
Today, more than 10,000 international students from 66 countries have MasterCard cards issued by SelfScore, founded by Kapadia, based in Silicon Valley.
Students have to prove they can be relied upon. Only 25 percent of students’ card applications were approved.
Less than one percent of card users are late in making their monthly payments, according to Kapadia.
The success of a startup is determined by users
Maru Castellanos, a microbiologist from Guatemala working on her doctorate in epidemiology at the University of Georgia, opened a bank account after arriving in the United States on a Fulbright scholarship in 2014. To her surprise, Banks refused to issue a credit card.
“It was a vicious circle,” said Castellanos, a faculty member at Del Valle University. In her home country, she had an excellent credit history. But when she came to America on sabbatical, she was denied a credit card. “No one wanted to give me a card,” she claims. SelfScore gave her the card in less than two weeks.
Beijing’s Jack Guo, a student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), says that having a credit card makes it easier for students to live in the city and the process of ordering food online.
“No one wanted to give me a card,” she claims. SelfScore gave her the card in less than two weeks.
Beijing’s Jack Guo, a student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), says that having a credit card makes it easier for students to live in the city and order food online.
SelfScore first sets a spending limit of $500 for borrowers, and then gradually raises it to $1,000 or $1,500. The card has no annual fee or interest payments if holders pay off their balance in full each month.
Those with an unpaid balance pay a 19.24 percent annual fee. Two-thirds of U.S. credit cardholders, pay on time and never have to pay interest.
It’s an attractive market for SelfScore. “A person coming from tens of thousands of miles away to improve their life and get an education is a safe choice,” he said. “It’s a very motivated segment of the population.”
If you choose to study in the United States, you will encounter new cultures and habits that are different from your own. Even everyday items you use at home may be used or treated differently in the United States.
Money is no exception. You may be surprised to see how Americans value and spend their money.
Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in the world, but some differences are depending on where you use them. Some cultures use credit cards only to finance large purchases. While others may prioritize other payment methods entirely.
Regardless of your background, it is important to know how credit works in the United States so that you can use it responsibly while studying abroad.
Based on the above, I want to say that getting a student credit card in America is possible. To successfully apply for a credit card, it is important to consider all of the above. If you are unlucky and have no credit history, then Kapadia can help you. Best of luck to you!