Having good credit affects far more than just your ability to get a credit card down the line. If you have a low credit score, you can say goodbye to a cheap apartment deposit. Instead, say hello to increased interest rates for investments and fewer loans that you could be eligible for. If you are interested in saving money in the long run, you need to be ready to build a good score early on. It’s not too difficult to do if you stick to some fundamental rules.
- Open A Store Account
One of the best ways to start building credit is to apply for a store card. They are much easier to obtain compared to major credit cards because they have a relatively small credit line. A bonus with this card is that you can’t overuse it. You won’t be racking up debt that you can’t pay off in any store.
- Become An Authorized User
If you aren’t looking to open a line, become an authorized user on someone else’s account. Even though it isn’t a new credit line, you can still use this to establish your score. With this method, you get the added supervision of someone else watching how you spend. They can answer basic questions that you would have and be able to teach you how to spend responsibly.
- Open A Secured Credit Card Account
A secured credit account isn’t like a standard credit card. Instead, you would put down a deposit that would equal the credit limit on your card. Try to find one that either has no annual fee or a low one. You would be able to use the money as you see fit; the only thing you need to ensure is that the credit card company reports your line of credit to the bureau.
- Always Pay Your Bills On Time
Obtaining a credit card is only half the battle when it comes to building your credit score. Once you have one, you have to manage it wisely. Not only will paying your bills late end up tanking your credit, but you will also rack up large fees, which can also send you over your credit limit. As you would guess, going over your credit score does not look good on a credit report. Ensure that the amount of money that you place on the card is an amount that you will be able to pay at the end of the month.
- Keep Your Balances Low
If possible, pay off your credit cards every month. However, if you can’t, you should always aim to keep your entire credit balance under 30% of your available limit. If you stay too close to the limit for too long, you risk lowering your score.