How forefingers and immigrants get the first credit card in the U.S.

See all stories 2014/02/17
How forefingers and immigrants get the first credit card in the U.S.

A credit card is a must item in the US.

Can foreigners or immigrants be approved by card companies? Maybe not. Because getting credit card needs credit history and building credit history needs a credit card.

Don’t worry. There is a way to get a first card and build credit history for immigrants and foreigners with working visa.

The key is Secured Card.

Secured Card

A secured card is a kind of credit cards. You can use the card with a deposit to prove that you have a liability for payment. Except for the deposit, secured cards can be used as normal credit cards. So, you can build your credit history. After a few months to a year later, you may apply regular credit cards and be approved.

How to get a Secured Card

Step 1: Get ready for applying

Following items are required for applying a secured card.

  • Social Security Number (If you don’t have a SSN, it’s totally difficult to apply cards.)
  • Bank Account

Step 2: Apply for a secured card

As you may know, there are a lot of secured cards here in the US. But I strongly recommend “Capital One Secured Mastercard"


Instant Approval

Before I apply capital one, I was declined to have a bank secured card. They say I need to stay same place at least 3 months and It took a week to get the answer “DECLINED.” On the other hands, capital one approved my application instantly.

Small Deposit

In my case, I can use up to $200 with just $49 deposit. If I use a bank secured card, I need to deposit $200 for $200 credit line.


Annual Fee

The annual fee is $29.

Step 3: Wait for your own secured card

After you made a deposit, your first card is on the way! In my case, it took almost 3 weeks to get my card.

  • 1st day: Applied, got an approval instantly and made a deposit (Tips: At the time, I didn’t receive any email from capital one.)
  • 7th day: Received a snail mail to tell me that I’ve been approved
  • 21st day: Received a secured card by snail mail

These are the steps to get your first credit card. Use your card with responsibility, pay on time and build your credit history, so you will be able to apply regular card with great rewards and big credit line.