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What credit card can an international student apply?
Hi! I'm not a US citizen nor do I have a green card. I only have F-1 student visa for college education here. I do want to start build up my credit history. What card can I apply for? Most secured cards I have tried requires me to be US citizen or other US person. So, I don't know what to do. Look for advice thanks!

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First, you should get a SSN

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I saw this thread but it has been a year. Hope you got your credit cards and used it properly.

Actually, it is not only the question for international student. It is the question for everyone who does have not credit history record.

But first, you need to get your SSN to build up your credit history. All your credit history is based on SSN. 

There are several ways to get your first credti card to help you build up your own credit history.

1. Be an authorized to your parents credit card. 

In this case, your parents propably are not citizens too. But if you know someone who are willing to add you as authorizer to their credit card, then it would be a plus for you. However, if you didn't pay your bill, they would be one to pay for it. So, most people would not add an authorizer for who they don't deeply trust. Usually, it is only for family member or spouse. 

2. Apply student credit card or secured credit card at your school credit union.

Most school credit unions are willing to provide credit card with small credit line to help student build up their credit history, like MIT. Everyone who attends MIT and open account at credit union would recieve a startup package from MIT credit union included a credit card even some of them don't have SSN. As international student, you should start to build your relationship with local credit union and ask them if they can provide you a credit card or secured credit card to help your credit history. 

However, those credit cards usually does not have cash back but have low APR to allow you carry some balance while not pay too much interest. But, again, for starter, you should not take the risk to bear any balance. It should hurt your credit score dramatically since you don't have long credit history. 

3. Apply other big bank student credit cards

Usually, there are some big banks or credit card companies that they are williing to provide credit card for anyone who just came to USA, like CITI Forward, Captial one credit card for newcomer. However, those credit cards due to some reasons have all been canceled and would not be released anymore. 

But they still provide credit cards for college student, you should ask your local branch if you are quealified to have one. However, the reason why they are called student credit card is that they have credit line limit (most between 1000 to 1500, some even lower) and small sign-up bonus. ($25-$50) But reward system is the same. You should still get most benefit as a regular credit card. 

Bottom line: You should get your first credit card and garden it at least half year before apply other credit cards. It does not matter what kind of credit card you have. Just make sure it is a credit card. And do not apply other credit cards before you establish your own credit history. (I know some international students are so eager to get big bonus and apply several credit cards when they just came here. Do not do that ! It is useless and you would be rejected immediately.)

Hope it help ! 

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Everything STEFFAAAAA is true. I can only add that after getting an on campus job and a SSN I applied for a Bank of America secured card $300 and was approved. I am now at the 6 month mark with pay in full each month and will start a checking and savings account with my school credit union. I will then wait until my secured card graduates and then wait 3 more months and apply for a unsecured cardfrom my school credit union. I will apply in person if they allow or over the phone so I can speak to someone. I hear rumors that this can help anyone, not just F1 students.

Does your school have a credit union?

I hope the original poster gives an update...

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I got secured card from my college with $200 credit limit, $20 annual fee and no rewards, but my girlfriend (who is smarter than me I guess) got Discover card (yes without any previous credit history) with $1000 credit limit, no annual fee, good rewards (one of the best). She built her credit history for like 6 month then applied bofa got their credit card with $700 credit line which also offers good rewards. Then she got $6,500 credit limit on amex card. 

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You can apply for SelfScore credit card designed for international students just like you.

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