Star Auto and Truck Sales & Service Ramsey, Minnesota auto dealer

Obtaining Credit

The following suggestions show you how to establish your own credit identity.

Depending on your situation, some of these recommendations will be more helpful than others. If you have your own income or live in a small community where you are well known, obtaining credit could be relatively easy. In most cases obtaining credit is easy with a co-signer that is willing to assist you with building a solid credit future.

Open and maintain a checking and savings account in your own name.

Be careful not to overdraw your checking account, and if possible, add to savings regularly. While this is not an indication that you can handle credit, it will show prospective lenders your ability to handle your own financial affairs.

Work at a full-time job for a few months before applying for credit.

Apply for a charge account at a local department store.

If you are married and want the account in your name only, do not use your spouse's name and income to obtain the credit. If your income is low, start with a smaller independent store where you have shopped before. Limit the number of places where you first apply. Once credit is received, make payments for any purchases promptly. Do not apply for another credit card until you have established a good payment reputation.

Request any credit under your legal name.

A married woman who uses her social title (e.g., Mrs. John Jones) is likely to find the account listed under her husband's name. If married, you can use one of the following: first named and maiden name; first name and husband's surname; or first name and a combined surname (e.g., Susan Smith, Susan Jones, or Susan Smith-Jones).

Apply for an installment loan to purchase furniture, an appliance, or a car.

If you do not meet the income requirements, consider asking a relative or friend to cosign the note. You will be responsible for payments, but the cosigner must bear the risk of assuming payments if you default on the loan.

Apply at your local bank or credit union for a small loan.

Or, if you are a member of a credit union, apply for a loan there. If you do not have a specific use for the borrowed funds, place them in a savings account, money market fund, or a short-term certificate of deposit. Consider the interest you pay as the cost of establishing your credit identify.

Ask if you qualify for an overdraft privilege on your checking account.

Even if you never use it, the fact that you were accepted could be viewed favorably later.

Ask that a joint account be changed to a separate account under your name.

    Once some of the above steps have been taken, then consider the following:
  1. Apply for a gasoline or a national department chain store credit card.
  2. Apply for a bank credit card such as a Visa or MasterCard.
  3. Apply for a secured credit card if you are able to qualify for a credit card without a deposit. In most cases your deposit earns interest while it is held to secure your credit limit. These credit cards usually report to the credit bureaus as a normal credit card account.