Getting Started With Credit

getting started with credit

How to build credit from scratch.

Good credit is important, but how do you get a good score when you’re starting from scratch? It’s not as complicated as it seems.

Let’s take a look at how to build credit and how long it might take to establish a solid score.

First Steps to Build Credit History

To establish a credit history, you need a record of borrowing money and then repaying it on time.

  • Become an Authorized User. When you’re first starting, an easy way to do that is to become an authorized user of another person’s credit card. By doing so, you can boost yourself through their established credit.
  • Secured Credit Card. Another way to start building credit is to apply for a secured credit card. To open a secured credit card, you deposit money with the credit union or bank that issues the card which is then used as collateral. It works just like a regular credit card. As you use the card and pay your bill, you start building a credit history and your score will rise. 

How Long Does it Take to Build Credit History?

It typically takes about six months for your score to generate once you start using your credit card. Your work is not done when your score finally becomes available. Then you’ll need to do your best to keep the score as high as possible.

Boosting Your Score

Once you’ve established a credit score, it’s time to improve your score. Here are some easy ways to increase your score:

  • Pay On Time, Every Time. Making on-time payments is a vital part of a good credit score.
  • Keep Usage Low. Make sure you aren’t maxing out your credit cards. Try to use only 10-30% of your total available credit. This will keep your credit utilization low, and your score high.
  • Check Your Report Often. Make it a habit to check your credit report from each of the three bureaus. If there is incorrect information, report it immediately.

Do One Thing: Establish credit via a secured credit card. Once you have built your score, apply for an unsecured card to continue your credit journey.

Chris O'Shea

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