If you don’t have credit, it can be very difficult to get approved for a vehicle loan, credit card, or mortgage. Here are five easy ways to help you quickly establish credit.
- Get a Checking or Savings Account: Even if you don’t have a credit score, a few lenders will agree to offer financing on the condition that you have an active checking or savings account. Opening a bank account is easy. Many banks and credit unions let customers open a new account with as little as $5.00. Once the account is opened, maintain a good standing for at least 3 to 6 months. In other words, don’t bounce any checks and avoid overdraft fees.
- Get a Credit Card: Getting approved for your first credit card can be difficult. If you are a student, the easiest way to obtain a credit card is to apply for a student account. These accounts are designed to help college students establish and build credit. The credit limit issued will depend on the credit card company and your current credit standing. For the most part, students are typically given a low limit, perhaps $500. After months of making timely payments, the credit card company will gradually increase the limit.
- Get a Co-borrower: Non-students can establish credit by adding their name to someone else’s good account. Ask a sibling or parent if you can become a co-borrower on their account. The primary applicant is responsible for the account and for every charge. Thus, it is important to use the account responsibility. Failure to pay your portion of the charges, or maxing out your individual credit card can have a negative impact on the primary borrower’s credit score.
- Get a Small Installment Loan: Another easy method to help you build credit is to apply for a small installment loan. Do you need new furniture, a computer, etc.? If so, apply for a manageable loan. Since the interest rate on installment loans are very high, only apply for the loan if you are able to payoff the balance within six months. Making payments on the loan for six months will help you build a solid credit score, and paying off the loan early demonstrates creditworthiness.
5. Finance an Automobile: One of the easiest items to finance without credit is a car. Several car dealerships offer programs to help people re-build and establish credit. Persons without a credit score will pay a higher interest rate on the loan. However, there are ways to keep monthly payments low. For starters, save money for a down payment. If you have extra money each month, put it towards the payment. Once your credit score improves, refinance for a lower rate.