questionshard pulls bad for credit history?

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Even if I get approved, it will still show as a hard pull right? And will that ultimately be bad for my credit later on? When I try to apply for an actual credit card?

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You are young, it is good to start trying to build credit, but be careful with most cards "for students" and other crap geared toward kids that will be swimming in debt by the time college is finished.

My friend had a similar issue when he was younger, so he went to his local credit union and keep doing periodic quarterly loans for five hundred bucks. He didn't pay them off early, he made on time payments of what he was suppose to and built from there. It was a very solid foundation.

I am sure there are more knowledgeable members, like Shrdlu, that could give even more insight for you.

Best of luck!

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I'm going to do you a solid right now and tell you to go to Walmart and apply for their credit card. If you don't get approved there then you've got some serious building to do and you're going to have to go the @xarous route and work through a credit union. For reals, Walmart. You can get a card with a $50 limit there. I assume you have a job right?

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I read once that frequency of the checks is also a factor. Unless you really want/need a credit card right away, I would recommend maybe waiting 4 - 6 weeks before trying again.

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As a general rule, 'hard' pulls all done on the same type of credit (card, car loan, etc.) within a very short time frame tend to get lumped together as one, instead of each individual pull. They only stick around for a year or so. Use the card you have, and pay it off monthly - that'll help. But don't stress on the hard pulls right now. Building time and accounts matters more in the long run.

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@xarous: It's kind of you to mention me, but I always defer to @magic cave who will have absolute knowledge on how this all works, having retired from the banking world just a few brief weeks ago.

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I know it is obvious but the bank or credit union where you opened Your checking/savings account, have you asked if they have credit cards that You could get approved for. If they say no then ask about a debit card.

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I wouldn't worry about the number of pulls. Your biggest limiter right now is that you have to history. I was lucky, I turned 18 when credit was as easy to get as a pizza. Signed up for an Amazon card (which I still use) and some other card that I signed up for to get like a $50 credit for that I canceled some time ago. My cousin had the same problem that you do, and his solution was Walmart. When he got his card, it had a $250 limit on it. He had it for about a year and then was able to get a card with some better perks. You could try an amazon card too. It works well if you buy lots of stuff off amazon (3% back) and you also get 2% back on gas and dining. It all adds up.

A credit card is only one source. If you have some sort of service (cell phone, car payment, etc) make sure it is in your name as they report to credit services.

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[perk] My name was mentioned?

@jaaayzhu: Yes, even if you are approved for a credit card, it will still show as a hard pull and, all totaled, bump your score down a few points.

It's usually wise to avoid cards aimed at students; they tend to have wretched interest rates and fees. As for options, first and foremost, check to see if you have access to a local credit union. A credit union gives you two immediate benefits. They're member owned, so their job is to help members with their credit needs, and second, they're much more likely than any Big Bank to work with you on establishing. Also, do you have any family member who might be willing to co-sign for a low-limit credit card for you?

If you can find a credit union, ask if they a secured card. I know you mentioned this somewhat dismissively, but I promise that many/most CU secured cards can be exactly what you need. At my own CU, for instance, our secured card has no fees, a moderate interest rate, and reports to
[cont'd]

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[cont'd] credit bureaus exactly as our other credit cards do. We don't even pull credit to issue one. Just a note: a "secured card" is obtained by placing funds on deposit as collateral; this is NOT the same as a prepaid card. We're on the same page here?)

Check here to locate all the credit unions in your area: http://www.mycreditunion.gov/pages/mcu-map.aspx Call and ask them the requirements to become a member. (Credit unions have members, not customers.)

If you find a CU you can join, go there in person. Make nice. Explain that it's time to begin establishing your personal credit and ask their advice. Remember, CU employees are paid by their members to help the members!

I have no experience at all with Walmart's cards, but you have two recommendations for them above. Even if you end up with a Walmart card, I would still strongly recommend joining a credit union for your future credit needs. This is a good time to begin that ongoing financial relationship.

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[cont'd] Last thoughts: If you have a cell phone bill in your name, many CU's will consider that as "alternative credit history." Also, when you go into the CU, it's helpful to take along copies of your last three pay stubs, since if you do a credit card request they'll likely want verification of employment and income. And, as always, be sure you have a government issued photo ID with a current address on it.

(And please accept my apology if this all sounded too kindergarten-ish. I tend to err on the side of too much info rather than risk leaving something out!)

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Last time I checked, hard inquiries only stay on your credit report for six months. When I was trying to establish credit, I would only apply for a card every three months or so. That way there would never be more than a couple of hard inquiries reported at any given time.

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@jaaayzhu: I would suggest signing up for an account at Credit Karma. It's free and helps you get a grasp on what factors affect your credit score and you can see how your score fluctuates over time. This is from their page on hard credit inquires:

Hard credit inquiries are placed on your credit report whenever you apply for credit, like a credit card or loan. This number represents the number of hard inquiries reported on your credit over the last two years. Soft credit inquiries, like the kind used by Credit Karma, do not impact your credit score and are not included in this number.

They also state that "This factor has a LOW impact on your credit score " whereas things like payment history and credit card utilization have a HIGH impact. (cont'd)

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@jaaayzhu: (cont'd) I also suggest holding a grudge against any company that is not willing to help you get on your feet with credit. My grandma (now in her 80's) will never use Discover because they denied her a long time ago, when she actually needed them. Now they constantly send her offers for cards and she just laughs and throws them in the trash.

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I'll offer another vote for Credit Karma!

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Bunch of noobs on here. Hard inquiries will stay on your credit report for a whole 2 years.

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Thanks guys! Lots of info here, but I'll be sure to consider all your advice.