Getting a credit card without a job – Is it possible?

Checking Credit Card

There are moments in life when you can find yourself unemployed and need to make some purchases with something else than cash. With many businesses making the move to online, while brick and mortar stores don’t accept cash payments anymore, you can end up having a rough time paying. But a credit card can save you in such situations! However, there’s still one question left: will you be able to get one as long as you don’t have a job?


There are a few ways of getting a credit card, even if you are unemployed. But we should mention that the whole process can get a bit complicated sometimes. Let’s take a few moments and see how it’s done, shall we?

What does the law say?

A few changes were made to the way banks can approve people who are jobless or under 21 for credit cards back in 2009, resulting in what we now call the CARD Act. Therefore, it became more difficult for people in these two categories to obtain a credit card of their own.

Specifically, the law states that an applicant who is under 21 can apply for a credit card only if they can prove they have independent means of paying their bills. Long story short, if you are in this age group and don’t have any wealth sources, you need to have a job if you want a card.

Become an authorized user

Ok, so you are looking for alternative solutions. One of them is becoming an authorized user of someone else’s card. Almost all credit card issuers allow this, resulting in you getting your own credit card, with your name on it, which you can use as your own. However, don’t forget that this card will still be part of the cardholder’s account!

The procedure itself is simple: the main cardholder provides some information to the bank and they will have you added. And that’s all!

Ask somebody to cosign for you

If using somebody else’s card doesn’t sound ok for you and having your own looks like the best idea, you might as well ask a friend or a relative to co-sign your application. The bank looks at the co-signer’s credit history and employment, not to mention that he or she will be the one responsible for the charges.

After you will be approved, there are quite a few advantages to consider, like directly receiving the statements and being responsible for paying the bill each month. If the latter can be considered an advantage…

Get a secured credit card

Finally, let’s not forget about what can be considered one of the easiest ways of getting a credit card if you don’t have a job.

If you aren’t comfortable with somebody helping you through this process, a secured credit card is what you need, which is basically a deposit you provide for an account, this being usually equal to your credit limit. Simply put, you are providing the money you will be borrowing.

The main advantage is that as long as you show that you can pay your bill on time every month, you can make the transition to a non-secured card after some time, so it’s one of the best ways of starting with credit cards1

Credit card mistakes