How to get a good credit score from scratch
Building credit can feel like a catch-22. You need a good credit score to qualify for loans and credit cards – yet you need a loan or credit card to build the score itself. To help you qualify for the loans and credit cards you need, Kasheesh put together five beginner-friendly ways to start building your credit score today.
5 beginner-friendly ways to get a credit score
- Get a secured or a store credit card – Whether you have a store card (like a Walmart Rewards card) or a secured card (which requires a cash deposit upfront), simply paying the bill for it on time adds to your repayment history — and your credit score.
- Become an authorized user – Consider asking a trusted friend or relative with a solid payment history to add you as a user on one of their accounts. Most credit card companies report activity from authorized users, which contributes to your credit score.
- Apply for a loan – Paying off a loan on time is another reliable way to build credit. There are three loan types which are often used for this purpose – auto loans (used to get a new ride), personal loans, and secured loans (similar to a secured credit card).
- Pay your rent on time – If you rent an apartment, your landlord likely reports your positive payment history to a major credit reporting agency. Alternatively, specific services like RentTrack report your on-time rent payments for a small fee.
- Ask for your bills to be reported – Do you consistently pay for a cell phone, utilities, or a cable TV subscription? Ask these providers to report your payment history to the major credit bureaus to show you can be a reliable credit card holder.
While getting a good credit score takes time and patience, any history of reliable payment is valuable for building credit from scratch. The most important thing is to create a habit of paying every bill on time.
If you’re struggling to get started or need more support, don’t be afraid to reach out to a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor. If you want free expert advice on starting from scratch, check out Kasheesh’s Finance Academy!