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I am a graduate student in my mid-20s who has never had a credit card. While I have been able to get by without one, I have finally reached a stage in my personal and professional life where not having one has become a real inconvenience (when trying to reserve a rental car, for example). I would be grateful for advice on the cards, or kinds of cards, that I should seek or avoid for a first credit card -- as well as whether I'm likely to receive one, and (if not) what I can do to make myself a better candidate. Stephanie, Minneapolis, MN
My son, who is in his mid 30s and is married with two children, has almost no reportable income. He manages an apartment complex in Los Angeles, for which he receives something like $500/month and the use of a three-bedroom apartment. He also picks up web development jobs that are usually transacted in cash. His wife has her beautician's license and provides services out of the apartment for cash or barter. I worry that they wouldn't be able to rent another apartment if they wanted or had to move from their present apartment. Do you have any suggestions on how he might begin to work on his credit rating, given his current situation? Craig, Fairbanks, AK