It is not easy to get credit for the first time. The catch 22 is that you can not get credit because you do not have any yet. The majority of creditors want you to have credit before they will extend you any.
The best way around this is to seek out a credit card whose target audience is people who do not yet have credit. For those of you with a savings or checking account, you can ask your bank about a credit offer for customers with limited credit histories. Many banks offer customers student credit cards, credit builder loans, or secured credit cards.
To get a student credit card in your own name, you must be at least 18 years old.
Applying for a secured credit card is another easier way to get started with first time credit. These cards typically require that you make a deposit against the credit limit on your new card. In this way, it works almost like a debit card. The good thing about some of these secured card offers is that they will automatically convert to non secured credit cards after you have a proven timely payment history of from 12 to 18 months with them.
Another option is to apply for a gas credit card or retail store card. These are usually easier to qualify for as a first time credit applicant. After you build up several months of positive credit history with either of these types, it will be simpler to be qualified for one of the major branded credit cards such as Mastercard or Visa.
The downside to gas and retail cards is that they come with higher costs. The interest rates will be higher on both types than they are with typical Visa or Mastercards. This is the trade off for building up credit with these gas and retail cards. So long as you pay off all of your balance every month, you will not incur any finance charges. This discipline will serve you well when you get your major brand credit cards.