Fizz was designed to help college students build credit without having to go through a credit approval process and without having to worry about fees, interest rates, or overspending. In the past, gaining access to credit has been difficult even for US college students. And for international students looking to build credit, the process of getting a credit card can be downright impossible.
Two of Fizz’s co-founders are all too familiar with this dynamic. When Carlo (CEO at Fizz) and Moritz (CTO at Fizz) moved to the US to attend college, they found themselves unable to apply for many of even the most basic student credit cards out there. Without social security numbers, the cards they could apply for asked for co-signers, security deposits, and had other cumbersome requirements - and there was no guarantee that they'd even be approved. They were ultimately left with no way of building credit at all.
Why should international students worry about building credit?
To some, missing out on building credit in college might not seem like the end of the world. Plenty of people forgo building credit in college, but doing so can have real downsides. Without a healthy credit profile and credit score, you can be denied for car loans and home loans, and when you are approved you can end up paying thousands of extra dollars in interest. No credit or bad credit can also mean getting rejected on apartment applications - or from job opportunities.
You might hear from people that there are other ways to build credit as an international college student that work just as well. But the reality is that having a line of credit under your own name, linked to your own identity, is hands down the best ways to build credit. While having your own bank account, being an authorized user on someone else’s account, or having a utility bill in your name may help a little bit, they aren’t going to be nearly as beneficial to your score.
On top of the things that you can miss out on by having little to no credit history, building credit often goes hand in hand with furthering your financial education. Building credit by managing your own credit card, Fizz card, or student loans is a good way of teaching yourself how to be responsible with money. By focusing on building credit in college, it’s easy to also focus on budgeting, savings, and understanding key terms and concepts like interest rates and APRs.
The good news
Building credit in the US as an international student has been almost impossible - until now. But thanks to Fizz, that’s all going to change.
We might ask for a little additional information to confirm your identity and ensure that your credit building progress is attributed properly to your name, but you won’t be forced to jump through the annoying hoops that so many other card companies have created. With Fizz, there are no credit checks, no security deposits, no co-signers, no fees, and no interest rates. All you need is a US bank account and a little personal information.
At Fizz, we recognize how important it is for people to start building credit in college. It’s why we’re hard at work building the first debit card for college students that helps you build credit and earn rewards. A good credit score and a good credit profile are a crucial part of anyone’s journey towards financial independence, and the ability to build credit should be available to everyone - whether you’re a US citizen or an international student. So don’t wait another second - download the Fizz app and get your very own card today!
Sam is a Kenyon College alum and is head of content at Fizz. He's been a go to personal finance resource among his peers since getting his first credit card during his sophomore year of college. He hails from Washington, DC, loves all things aviation, and currently lives in Los Angeles.