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How do I get a student MasterCard with no credit history?

I am looking for a reliable MasterCard for college students. However, I have never been employed or handle any financial matters to earn some credit history. I believe that getting a student credit account requires that you give the bank some sort of assurance that you will pay back whatever they lend you.

I can pay my tuition and college cost as I already have a subsidized student loan. However, I still need more money to add to my living expenses. Please help me understand how I can get a student MasterCard.

Rodney Fox

in Student Loans

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Ralph Lopez on May 30, 2018

Well, you are partly right. It can be challenging to secure a student Master Card when you don’t have a credit history. Much like someone who has bad credit. However, it is not impossible as some banks allow students credit with no credit history to back it up. However, the credit limit is usually low and may not be sufficient to cater for several expenses. Some lenders ask for a co-signer with a good credit score to stand in for you.

Here are three ways you can get a credit student account without a credit history:

  • Exploit special offers for students and first-time applicants

When you choose this path, the first thing you need to do is to find a part-time job. Some lenders may specify the minimum threshold of income you should be earning every month after taxes to become eligible. It is wise to inquire about any such requirement before you begin. Many restaurants and retail stores in the US and Canada hire students on a part-time basis. Any bank would be reluctant to give you credit if you have no income to report. The money you receive from your parents or the federal government as loans are not counted as income.

Once you have a job, you can now apply for a student credit card. Numerous banks offer special cards for students looking for credit. Read and understand the terms carefully to know what you are securing.

  • Use a family/friend’s account to build good credit

If you do not wish to get a job t still want to find a way to get a college student Master Card, you can find a family member who trusts you, and you also trust to become an authorized secondary user of their card. This way you can build your credit score and be in a position to apply and get your credit card later. However, trust is important as failure to keep up with regular payments can be detrimental to both your credit scores.  

  • Start with a secured account and improve your credit

A secured credit card is one that you start with a fixed amount of savings acting as your collateral. Most banks have this type of account for people who have no credit history and consequently do not qualify for other types of credit. Use this account to build your credit rating and eventually move to an unsecured credit account. 

Craig Stewart2 years ago

Applying for a student credit account and securing one is not enough. You will need to put a lot of effort to maintain it and also increase your credit limit. Here are a few tips on how you can maintain your account:

  • Monitor and review your credit report often: though you may be making your payments on time, it is important to make sure that all these reflect well on your credit report. Reviewing your credit report even if you don’t share your account with anyone else ensures you can be accountable to yourself. You can also identify errors and mistakes early to rectify them.  
  • Actively use your card: having your card but rarely using it doesn’t help to improve your credit. You need to make purchases regularly with the card, and even pay bills using your card.
  • Keep a reasonable credit balance: avoid exhausting your credit limit to the maximum extent. 


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