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Building Credit With A Store Card

- Apr 30, 2024 Building Credit, credit2 comments

One of the classic, old school ways of starting to build credit was by first applying for a store card.

What is a store card?

A store card is a credit card offered by a store or brand, for example, Gap, Kohl’s, Home Depot, etc. The credit card is designed to be used for purchases within the store. Store cards often come with many store-related perks, such as discounts, bonus points on store purchases, free returns, and more. Many store credit cards can be used just like any other credit card for purchases outside of the store network as well.

Store cards are easy to get approved for

Store cards are usually easy to get approved for (even for newcomers to credit). But, you will usually only get approved for a shallow credit limit (sometimes as low as $200), and they often come with a very high APR on balances.

Should it be your first card?

If you’re a newcomer to credit, then most credit cards will decline you. Why? Because they want to see some payment history. That’s why store cards may be a perfect way to start building credit, since store cards usually approve even newcomers, and they typically report the payment history to the credit bureaus.

But store cards are not counted by FICO as a regular credit card, and in the long run, will not help build credit as much as a regular credit card. So after having the store card for a few months, make sure to get yourself approved for one or two typical credit cards as well.

Other options besides store cards

Alternatively, you can also follow these easy 4 steps to build credit without a store card, which may be much more effective.

How to Build Credit at 18 – My Tested And Proven Method

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Frequently asked questions
Is it worth applying for a credit card in a store to get a discount?
It’s hard to answer this question but overall, it’s not worth getting a new card to save a few dollars. Think of it this way. If you're already getting a new card then why not earn a hefty sign up bonus offered by many credit cards all the way up to over 150k points?!
Are store cards easier to get approved for than regular credit cards?
Yes, store cards are usually easier to get approved for than regular credit cards

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Sam Sam has nearly a decade's worth of experience educating his many readers on everything credit. Sam spends his days checking out credit cards for a full report, from the minute benefit details to the shebang of welcome bonuses. Plus studying the ins and outs of building proper credit. It’s his favorite pastime and he loves sharing it with others.

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2 Comments

  1. Great article. Thanks Sam!

    Reply
    • Thanks, Bentzy!

      Reply

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