1. Get a Card
A great way to build credit is by getting a credit card, and many department stores, even Wal Mart, offer cards that are fairly easy to get approved for, even if you have less then perfect credit. Buy a few things from the store that you need, but make sure to take caution not to spend more than you know you’ll be comfortable with when your bill comes at the end of the month.
2. Don’t get too Many
After you get your first card, it is probably a good idea to wait a while before you get another. One of the main causes of credit card debt is the possession of too many cards. It gets harder to keep track of your finances the more cards and accounts you get, so keep it as simple as you can with your own situation.
3. Finance a Car
If you need to buy a car, then financing it in your name (as opposed to paying cash) is an excellent way to build credit. An automobile loan is easier to get then an unsecured credit card, as the banks can always repossess the car if you miss payments.
4. Gas Cards
Credit cards from gas stations are safe and smart ways to build credit. Plus, a lot of companies that offer gas cards also offer discounted prices on fuel.
5. Gas & Electric
If you live on your own then having gas and electric bills in your name will build credit as well. They will run a credit check on you, but if you do not qualify then all you need to do is come up with a small deposit. You can then get great credit just for paying your bills on time.
6. Don’t Pay it All
Making payments that are above the minimum yet below the principal balance owed is best if you are trying to build credit. Once you have credit built it is a good idea to get in the habit of paying off your balance each month, but you build credit more easily if you pay off your purchases in multiple payments.
7. Close Old Accounts
All finance records that mention your name can show up on credit reports, so make sure you close old accounts after you pay off debts. If you have too many unused credit cards in your name then it can prevent you from getting future loans.
8. Make a Budget
The best way to maintain good credit is to have good financial records in general. By making yourself a monthly budget it will be harder to get bogged down in debt or bad credit.
9. Credit Check
Every once in awhile get a copy of your credit report. An average credit score is in the high 600’s, and the higher the number the better. Plus, it can be fun seeing how your credit score goes up as you improve yourself and your finances.
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