To make most large purchases, you need to have a pretty good credit score. Having a good credit score comes from paying off credit cards or loans. But you will not get approved for a credit card or loan without a credit history that comes from being approved for a credit card or loan. It’s a pretty confusing process but there is a way to start building your credit from the ground up.
One of the ways that you can begin building credit requires no work. You would just need a trusted individual who can add you as an authorized user to their credit card account. You receive a credit card (that you do not need to use) that is attached to their account. And while they are paying off their card, you are reaping the benefits to your credit score. However, if they miss payments, your credit score will experience that drop.
If being an authorized user is not for you, you can always open a credit card for yourself. There are a few types of credit cards that are less strict in their approval process. The most common type is a secured credit card. A secured credit card requires a security deposit that you get back once you close the account, that is if you do not owe any money. Student and retail credit cards are also great options for building credit. Each credit card has different requirements and should be researched, but you would typically want a card that does not charge an annual fee, require you to pay interest, and need a balance to build credit.
Apart from credit cards, another option is loans. It is generally not a good idea to take out a loan strictly to build credit, but if you are already taking out student or other big loans, take advantage of the opportunity. Student loans as soon as they are open, are already building credit. However, if you are not a student, you can always try a credit builder loan. With this type of loan, you would get approved for the loan and the funds would go into an account that you do not have access to until you pay off the loan. As you are paying it off, the lender is reporting it to the credit bureaus, and you are building credit. However, if you miss payments or do not finish paying them off, your credit score will suffer the consequences.
Now that you have some type of credit score, you want to work towards getting that excellent rating. Here are some ways you can make sure your score keeps getting higher.
- Pay your bills on time. Your credit score largely depends on your payment history. Therefore, you should set a reminder or something that will guarantee you pay the full amount, or at least minimum, back on time.
- Watch your usage. Although you have the card for a certain limit, it does not look good to spend the whole amount. Instead, you should always try to stay under 30% usage of the credit limit.
- Keep various accounts. Having different loan and credit card accounts open and in good standing shows that you can manage and maintain a few different accounts. And they all work together to lift your score.
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