Is it possible to get a credit card without a credit score? While having no credit history can make approval more challenging, it’s not impossible. Several credit cards are designed for those with limited or no credit history. While major banks and lenders may pose some obstacles, here are some effective options for obtaining your first credit card without needing prior credit:

Apply for a Secured Credit Card

A secured credit card is an excellent way to build credit from scratch. With this type of card, you place a refundable security deposit, usually starting at $200, which becomes your credit limit. This reduces the lender’s risk, making it easier to get approved without a credit history. Be sure to make all payments on time and keep your balance low. After 12-18 months of responsible use, you can often upgrade to an unsecured card and get your initial deposit back. You can explore card options on websites like

Get a Student Credit Card

If you’re a college student, student credit cards from issuers like Discover, Capital One, and Bank of America are designed for those with little or no credit history. You may need to provide proof of income from a job or other sources.

Become an Authorized User

Becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card with a long, positive credit history and low balances is another option. This allows you to piggyback on their credit history, which can help build your credit score. Consider asking a parent, spouse, or other trusted individual to add you as an authorized user on their account.

Consider a Retail Store Card

While not ideal for long-term use, retail store credit cards can help establish your credit. Brands like Target and Kohl’s often have less stringent approval requirements. Be aware of lower credit limits and higher interest rates. Use these cards sparingly and consider canceling them once your credit improves.

Ask a Family Member to Be Your Co-Signer

Some major credit card issuers allow applicants with limited or no credit to have a co-signer. A co-signer with good credit shares responsibility for the debt if you fail to pay. This can improve your chances of approval but comes with risks for both parties.

Be Prepared for the Responsibility

Before applying for any credit card, research its features, fees, APRs, and approval requirements. Understand the annual fees, interest rates, and credit limits. Many student and secured cards have fewer fees and perks, so set realistic expectations. Once approved, use the card responsibly by making payments on time, keeping credit utilization low, and avoiding maxing out your available credit. Treat your first credit card as a tool to establish a solid credit history through good financial habits.

Getting approved for your first credit card is achievable, even with no credit history. Shop around strategically, be a responsible borrower, and be patient as your credit history builds over time.