Getting credit for the first time

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I'm looking to build up my credit history as I've never had any kind of credit card/store card/bank loan/...

So I figure getting a credit card is the way to go - spending a bit on it each month and paying it off as soon as the statement arrives to incur no interest.

I'm aware that, having no history, I'm not going to get a good rate but as I'm paying back in full each month I'm not too concerned about that.

So now it comes down to picking which card to apply for which is a somewhat overwhelming task. Are there any good "starter" cards to go for? I earn £15750.

I bank with HSBC so have considered their credit card, but the whole "offset" thing has put me off. Provided I don't start missing payments can I safely assume that offsetting won't be applied to me?

I've also looked at reward cards and have found a couple (Sainsburys nectar and Barclaycard initial) for which I seem to fulfil the initial criteria. Is there any reason why I wouldn't want to go for a card that I can get reward on if I can get one?

Any other help for a first timer gratefully accepted!
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Comments

  • opinions4u
    opinions4u Posts: 19,411 Forumite
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    Start with your own bank.

    Right of set off only gets used if you don't pay the minimum balance.

    Once you've used it and cleared the balance in full for 6 months plus take time to assess the best cashback offers and take it from there.
  • telecomengineer
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    How long have you had your account with HSBC? Are you on the voters roll?

    My advice go in a branch and providing you have been with then 6 months or more they can give you an idea if your eligble for a credit card...if they ask what limit say £500 to be safe

    If this is declined then try the Barclaycard Initial as its aimed at little or no no credit history.

    Dont bother with cap 1 or vanquis
  • tomwakefield
    tomwakefield Posts: 8,036 Forumite
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    How long have you had your account with HSBC?
    Since I got my student account for uni, so ~8 years
    Are you on the voters roll?
    Yes
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  • liverpool1988
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    Ive found that since the credit crunch credit cards are harder to obtain...anyone feeling the same?
  • tomwakefield
    tomwakefield Posts: 8,036 Forumite
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    Thanks for the help - I've been accepted for a credit card from my bank with more than enough available credit, with a direct debit for monthly full repayment.
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  • Silvafox
    Silvafox Posts: 321 Forumite
    edited 17 August 2010 at 1:03PM
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    My advice, if I may, is please be sooooooooo careful with the credit card. My first credit card, and my inability to control my finances at the time, was a slippery slope into debt.

    I don't know you personally of course, just wanted to say be careful and if I could travel back in time - I wouldn't have applied for anything at all and just lived with the money I earnt!
    PMA - Positive Mental Attitude

    It works for me - you try it!
  • Sharon87
    Sharon87 Posts: 4,011 Forumite
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    I found it hard to get a credit card - even a store card declined me!! But I applied for one with Halifax, who I bank with, and got accepted for a 0% deal with a good apr (15.9%). So I would suggest you have a better chance with your own bank.

    And also be careful to make sure you understand the rules and pay it off (I will try and be lol, although I'm using this to help pay off my overdraft with a higher interest rate), I'm going to set up a direct debit for the minimum payment each month, then pay more to it (well to a savings account during the 0% period lol). I'm looking forward to what my limit will be - Halifax like increasing my overdraft for some reason, which I then reduced lol.
  • telecomengineer
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    Thanks for the help - I've been accepted for a credit card from my bank with more than enough available credit, with a direct debit for monthly full repayment.

    Well done on getting the card...HSBC are an excellent bank...use this card wisely and you'll soon be seen as an ideal candidate for a loan or indeed a mortgage with HSBC in the future

    all the best:T
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