Our Intuit blog recently posted a great article that includes 5 ways to start building credit. It's mentions that it's for recent graduations but is applicable to absolutely anyone who is trying to build their credit. The suggestions range from getting a secured credit card to getting familiar with your credit score and more. I hope you'll find it helpful!
What made you start thinking about your credit score and building it up? Do you have any financial goals in mind?
If one has a credit score of zero, that's a good indication that you have never borrowed money - not even a credit card.
A score of 0 is nothing to panic about @Wstarkejr! It's essentially the journey of a 1,000 steps begins with a single step, manifest. So, what's the first step? I found this article which directly addresses scores of zero:
Specifically: "Some specialty scores, including the FICO Industry Option scores, have a lower minimum (250), but, generally, no matter what model we’re talking about, “you don’t start at zero and, let’s say, work your way up to a respectable score over time,” Barry Paperno, a credit scoring expert who worked at FICO for many years and now writes for SpeakingofCredit.com, said in an email. You also don’t really start at a 350. That’s because until you meet a model’s minimum criteria, you won’t have any score at all. In that case, the credit bureaus will let a lender (or landlord or cable company or anyone else requesting your credit as part of their application process) know that you’re score-less. “When a score can’t be computed because the credit report doesn’t meet the minimum scoring criteria, an alpha or numeric ‘exclusion code’ is transmitted to the requester indicating one, that no score can be calculated, and two, a general reason why the credit report didn’t meet the minimum scoring requirements,” Paperno said."
And... for you @Wstarkejr: "Thin-to-no credit can certainly make it harder to secure a loan, but there are lines of credit specifically designed to help people in that demographic (see secured credit cards, student credit cards or credit-builder loans) establish a credit history. And, after you get ahold of some starter credit, it shouldn’t be too long before a model is able to calculate your score. For instance, the minimum criteria for the FICO scoring models, Paperno said, generally includes:
- At least one account opened more than six months ago
- At least one account reported to the credit bureau within the past six months
- No indicator on the credit report that the consumer is deceased
Moreover, once you meet this criteria, you could conceivably find you have a decent score — so long, of course, as you’re using your credit account(s) responsibly. “For instance, you can be 18-years-old with a secured card opened six months ago, pay on time every month, keep a low utilization, and your first score can be in the high 600s,” Paperno said.
That's great to hear and I would love to hear more about what made you start thinking about working on raising your credit score.
How's it going so far? Have you already started any strategies or tactics or are you looking for ideas on what to do next?