Your credit history is an important indicator on your credit worthiness. It will determine how easy you will be approved with a credit and the interest rate that you will be enjoying for the credit you are qualified for. Good credit history makes your life easy when you want to apply credit card or loan for any purpose. If you don’t have a credit history, you need to build one, but not many places are willing to give you credit if you have zero credit history, then how to even establish it?
There are a few things you can do to get the chances of building your first credit history:
1. Start with Bank Accounts
The first thing you should do is open a checking account and possibly a savings account as well at a local bank. Then, you should maintain these 2 accounts in good standing so that you show to the bank that you can manage your money. Although your bank account status is not part of your credit history, bank may use it as their reference to determine your credit risk when you apply your first credit.
2. Consider a Department Store Card
You probably have experience of being offer with department store card that will help you to save 10% on your purchases. Generally, it is not advisable to sign up with the card because its ongoing interest rate is very high although you enjoy the up-front discount.
Avoiding these cards is typically a good idea, but if you have no credit history and have trouble to establish your first credit, then sign up with a department store card is worth considering. However, before you sign up to apply the card, make sure you ask them whether they report to credit bureaus or not. If they not, then the card won’t do any good for you.
A department store card has no different than a normally credit card except it has lower credit limit, but sufficient for you to establish your credit. It carries high interest rate, so you better use it carefully when you have approved with the card. Remember your purpose of getting the card is to establish good credit, so whatever you spend, pay the balance in full when you receive the statement. When the card is activated, it will be reported to credit bureaus, and your credit history will start to build up from there.
3. When All Else Fail
What if you have tried the above 2 methods, or even try to apply a card from directly from credit card companies, but failed? Is that means you have no chance to build your credit history?
The last thing you can do is apply for a secured credit which is much easier to be obtained. What you need is an asset such as house, car or boat to link to the account which the lender can take it if you fail to make payment.
You could also apply a secured credit card which offered at most bank. You need to deposit a certain amount of money, for example $500 to secure the card with a spending limit of $500. If you fail to make payment on what you have spent with the card, the bank will take your deposit.
Be aware that not all secured credit will be reported to credit bureaus; make sure you check to ensure it will be reported before you apply it.
It is important for you to have a good credit history, you have to build one if you don’t have. Establishing the first credit may be tricky but above 3 methods may help you to initial it. After obtaining your first credit, it is important to use it responsibly to maintain good credit history.
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