Establishing Credit Takes Time
Establishing credit can be hard to do if you have little or no history of financial transactions. If you have limited credit experience, it can make it hard or virtually impossible to acquire a credit card. The first thing lenders want to know when you apply for a credit card or loan is what sort of credit history you have, and they will evaluate your credit report or FICO score to look into your past. How can you build credit if you have no credit?
These tips that may help you on the path to building a solid financial foundation.
Obtain a secured credit card. A secured card is one that has a limit that is guaranteed by a cash deposit. Be sure that your card-issuing bank will give documentation about the account and your use of it to the credit reporting agencies. Collateral-backed credit cards are likely to have higher fees and rates than traditional cards; you don't want to use one if it isn't going to benefit you in any way. A card with a cap of as little as two hundred dollars could be useful if you use it regularly and pay your bill in full every month. The risk to the lender is minimal, as they have your cash on hand should you fail to pay.
Open a bank account. It is a small start, but these are financial transactions and they will help you generate a credit history. Make a practice of using your bank accounts regularly by putting away money for a rainy day and by paying your monthly bills by check. Be aware that writing bad checks will offset the purpose of having the account, so use the account wisely.
Look over your credit report. You can obtain a copy of your credit report for free at annualcreditreport.com. Make sure that the data on the report is correct, and watch out for errors. Authorities estimate that nearly 25% of all credit reports have incorrect information; if you have another person's debt listed in your name it could harm your ability to obtain a loan for a long time.
Be patient. You ought to use your checking or savings account and charge card for about a year, making routine payments. Over a period of time, you will build a credit record that should earn you the ability to get better accounts and small loans. Waiting can be difficult, but creating any kind of credit record takes time.
Building credit takes some time and work, but it is well worth it.
About the Author: ęCopyright 2007 by Retro Marketing. Charles Essmeier is the owner of Retro Marketing , a firm devoted to informational Websites, including Debt-Stopper.com, a site about debt consolidation, personal bankruptcy and other financial matters.