Building and maintaining a high credit score will be one of your more important ways to save money.
The main reason why you want a great credit score is because it helps you get a low interest rate when you take out loans.
These loans can be a car loan, personal loan, line of credit, and most importantly, your mortgage. A small decrease in interest rate can have a big effect on the amount of interest you will pay back during the life of your loan.
It’s so important to have the highest credit score possible when you apply for your loan.
This blog post is geared towards people who are newer to credit or people who have bad credit and want to build their credit back up.
The best way to build credit quickly (in my opinion) is to use credit cards. Almost everyone can get approved for a credit cards as there are cards for everyone. And it doesn’t matter what kind of credit card you have. They all build credit the same.
Here’s how to build a credit history with credit cards
Apply for 2-3 credit cards and get approved
A lot of people start small and get one card (typically with a small limit like $500) and use it as their primary card for every day purchases. This is a great start. However it’s not the fastest way to build credit.
The better option is to get a few credit cards. If you have no credit cards right now, I recommend applying for 2-3 cards that you can get approved for.
Because when you have 3 credit cards building credit history, it’s going to be better for your overall credit score in the long run (you now have history for 3 cards rather than just one).
Not only that, you have 3 credit cards that have age now. The age of credit plays about a 10% role in determining your credit score. The older your credit (the longer you’ve had it) the better. And starting off with 3 cards right now is better than starting off with one, and then getting more cards later down the road.
It’s also important to apply for credit cards you can get approved for. A “credit card selector” website can help you. You can check one out here.
How should you use 3 credit cards?
Credit bureaus will collect information on how you pay your credit cards. They don’t collect info on how much you spend on your cards. That doesn’t matter for your credit score.
What matters is if you USED the card and if you PAID the card (at least the minimum balance).
What I recommend is this:
Choose 1 credit card as your primary card. Make sure it’s the card that gives you the most rewards. You’ll use this card as your every day card for purchases like buying things on Amazon, grabbing your Starbucks, or buying those Christmas presents.
With the other two cards, they are used ONLY for credit building purposes. So charge ONE THING on each card every month. And just make sure you pay your credit card bill each month. Because if you don’t, even if it’s a $1 item from the dollar store, it will get recorded as a missed payment and this will hurt your credit score a lot.
Set up online banking to pay your credit cards
It’s really easy to go online and pay your credit card bill. All you gotta do is transfer money from your savings/checkings account to your credit card bill. And you’re done.
It is easier to have all 3 cards from one bank so you can pay your credit card bills all at once. But it may be difficult to get approved for 3 cards from one bank if you’re very new to credit. So you may have to use two banks. I do recommend having accounts at at least 2 banks. Use one as your primary and have another one as you want financial options and to build relationships with a few financial institutions (it can help you later on when you apply for things like personal loans or mortgages).
You can take it extreme with many cards
There are people with 10 credit cards or more who are actively building credit on all their cards. Having a lot of credit and paying them off responsibly for a long period of time will help your credit score tremendously.
I don’t recommend 10 cards in the beginning. I think 10 cards is pretty excessive already. But perhaps 5 cards is a reasonable amount. And it’s something you can do down the road. It’s fairly easy to have 2-3 cards per bank you belong to. It’s pretty easy to charge a small thing to a credit card. We all buy things almost daily. But I think most people mess up when they forget to pay off the credit card bill for the month. So just stay on top of that and you’re golden.
Building credit history when you have no history
The BEST way to build credit when you’re young or when you have little to no credit history is with a credit card. Just after a few months to a year you should see your credit score increase.
Later when you apply for loans, like a car loan, your credit will be pulled and the interest rate you need to pay will be based on your credit rating. You MUST start building credit today. Because it takes time to get up there.
Virtually everyone can get approved for a credit card. There are specific credit cards for students and people with no credit history.
What you want to do is get a few credit cards. Use all of them each month. And pay it off each month. Use one card as your MAIN card and the others as your credit building cards where you’ll charge one small item on it every month.
The end result is you building a credit history on 3 credit cards v.s. just one. This can help you get your credit score higher and quicker.
You can find out credit cards you qualify for with this website here.