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Best way to establish credit history in the US?


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Hi guys, just wondering if anyone has any insight to share as to what would be the best way to establish a credit history with the US financial institutions so that I can get a credit card?  If you open an account with a bank that also issues credit cards, do they normally give you a credit card with a low limit as long as you keep a specific balance in your bank account or something?  

Appreciate any tips or suggestions. Thanks.

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I was able to get a visa card from Chase after having an account with them for about a year, but the limit is really low. However, I was able to get a (student) Discover card easily. I applied after having a bank account in the US for approximately 6 months, and received a generous limit that has been raised several times since. A drawback is that not everywhere will accept a Discover card. 

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Assuming that you are new to the US (i.e. an international student) and with no connections in the US, the best way is:

- Open a bank account ASAP
- Get a social security number if you qualify for one (it will be an employment-only SSN, not for credit, but having one will make other things easier)
- Sign a lease in your name if possible
- Open billing accounts in your name whenever possible, e.g. phone, utilities, Internet etc.

All of these things will build up a credit history. I was able to get a credit card from my bank within 3 months of opening my bank account. The limit initially was low but then it increased. When you get this card, pay off the bills on time every time. I think it was a credit card for students specifically from Citi bank but unfortunately, Citi doesn't do student banking any more.

Another way to know when you are going to be able to get approved for a card is when you start getting mailed advertisements to your address with invitations to apply for their cards. Most of these offers are terrible and have very bad terms. Don't apply for one of those! But it might mean that a credit card through your bank might accept you.

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