I have an exciting and somewhat embarrassing confession. I just got approved for my very first credit card! And it was no easy task! How did I make it this long without one? Easy. I’ve never needed credit and I’ve always used secondary cards under Johnny’s name to rack up our rewards.
A few months back I decided I wanted a cash-back rewards card of my own for my grocery and gasoline spending. My credit score was pretty good — about 760. Based on that score, all the credit card sites said I was eligible for some pretty sweet rewards cards. So I did some research and applied for my first card.
And within five minutes I was rejected.
Five minutes! What a blow to my credit-steem. I figured I must have aimed too high and decided to apply for a different card in a couple months. So, feeling admittedly a little less confident, I applied for another, less lofty rewards card. The credit card company said they’d let me know in a few days if I were approved. Phew! No immediate rejection this time!
A few days later I got a letter in the mail. And once again, I had been denied! I couldn’t believe it. What was going on?! As I read the rejection letter more carefully, they spelled it out for me: I didn’t have enough credit history for them to approve me. So although I had a good credit score, zero debt, and a history of paying off all my school loans, my lack of past credit cards was the dealbreaker.
I was pretty down in the dumps by this point. So Johnny and I decided it would be best for me to apply for a very basic, introductory card. Within a few days, I received a letter in the mail from the credit provider. And I hadn’t been approved… BUT I also wasn’t denied. They required that I send them a copy of a bill showing proof-of-residency before they would approve me. I guess at my age having absolutely no credit history is kind of fishy. And after I sent them the necessary documentation, I was finally approved! Hallelujah! Dave Ramsey would have slapped me silly if he’d seen my victory dance.
And so now I’m a bonafide credit card holder. I plan on putting about $100 on my new card each month (and paying off the balance, of course) to help slowly build my rapport with the credit card companies. Maybe one day I’ll be able to get a swanky rewards card all my own.
Has anyone else had a similar experience? Was it naive of me to think I’d be approved right away?