Choose a country
United States
Select a city
Select a city
Select language
Select country
Choose a country
United States
United States
Việt nam

How to Build Credit

15 min.

Building a good credit score is essential for financial stability and independence. A good credit score opens up opportunities for low-interest loans, credit cards, and better financial products. Unfortunately, many people struggle to build or maintain a good credit score, which can lead to financial difficulties and increased stress.

How to Build Credit

Here, we explore the key factors that impact your credit score and provide practical tips on how to build a good credit history. This article will guide you through building and maintaining a healthy credit score.

Why Credit Score is Important

Your credit score is an important factor that determines your financial stability and independence in the USA. A good credit score is seen as a sign of responsible borrowing behavior and can have a significant impact on your financial future. It affects everything from your ability to obtain loans and credit cards to the interest rates you're charged on these loans. A good credit score also opens up opportunities to access better financial products, such as mortgages and car loans with lower interest rates.

Your credit score is estimated by your payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, and types of credit used. The most commonly used credit scores are the FICO scores, which range from 300 to 850. The higher you have a credit score, the more likely you are to be seen as a low-risk borrower and receive favorable terms on loans and credit cards.

Having a good credit score means that you are more likely to receive a higher credit limit on credit cards, which can come in handy in times of financial difficulty. Higher credit limits can also help you better manage your debt by providing more flexibility. In contrast, a low credit score can result in lower credit limits, making it difficult to manage your debt and pay bills on time.

Another important reason why a credit score is important in the USA is that it affects your ability to obtain loans and credit cards. Financial institutions consider your credit score when determining whether to approve your loan application and what interest rate to charge you. A high credit score can lead to lower interest rates, meaning you pay less over the life of the loan. A low credit score can result in higher interest rates, which can be unaffordable and increase the overall cost of your loan.

How Credit Score is Calculated

A credit score represents a person's creditworthiness, calculated based on their credit history. The most used credit score is the FICO score. It ranges from 300 to 850. A higher FICO score indicates a lower credit risk and a better credit history.

Credit bureaus, such as Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, collect credit information from various sources and compile it into a credit report. The credit report lists the person's credit accounts, payment history, and balances on those accounts.

The credit score is based on the information in the credit report. There are five main factors that influence credit scores: payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, new credit, and credit mix.

  • Payment history accounts for 35% of the FICO score and refers to a person's track record of making on-time payments. Late payments, collections, and bankruptcies are negative marks that lower credit scores.
  • Credit utilization is the amount of credit used compared to the amount available. It accounts for 30% of the FICO score. A high utilization rate is a red flag for lenders and can lower credit scores.
  • Length of credit history accounts for 15% of the FICO score and reflects how long a person has been using credit. A longer credit history with responsible credit usage is considered more favorable by lenders.
  • New credit accounts for 10% of the FICO score and refers to new accounts opened or credit inquiries made. Too many new credit accounts or inquiries in a short period of time can lower the credit score.
  • Credit mix accounts for 10% of the FICO score and refers to the variety of credit types, such as credit cards, loans, and mortgages, that a person has. A mix of different types of credit is considered favorable by lenders.
  • In addition to these five factors, authorized user accounts, where a person is added as an authorized user to someone else's credit account, can also positively impact the credit score. Having an established credit history, where a person has been using credit responsibly for a long time, is also favorable for good credit scores.

How to Build Credit With a Credit Card

A credit card is a useful tool for building credit in the USA. There are two types of credit cards commonly used for this purpose: unsecured credit cards and secured credit cards.

Unsecured credit cards are the more traditional type of credit card and do not require a security deposit. They are based on the credit history of the individual and are usually offered to those with established or good credit. However, if you have no credit or bad credit, you may have difficulty getting approved for an unsecured credit card.

Secured credit cards, on the other hand, require a security deposit usually equal to the credit limit. This deposit acts as collateral in case the cardholder defaults on their payments. Secured credit cards are often easier to get approved for than unsecured credit cards, making them a good option for people who are just starting to build their credit.

Once you have a credit card, it is important to use it responsibly. This means making payments on time, keeping your credit utilization low, and not applying for too many credit accounts at once. Late payments have a negative impact on your credit score, and applying for too many credit accounts in a short period of time can signal to lenders that you may be a credit risk.

It is also important to monitor your credit score regularly to ensure that you are on the right track. You can get a free credit score from one of the three major credit bureaus (Experian credit report, Equifax, or TransUnion) or from a number of other sources. It is also a good idea to check your credit reports regularly to ensure that all of the information they contain is accurate and up-to-date.

Using a credit card and paying it off responsibly can help build a strong credit history over time. This, in turn, can make it easier to get approved for loans, credit cards, and other financial products in the future. Building a good credit score takes time, so it is important to be patient and consistent in your credit-building efforts.

How to Build Credit with a Loan

A credit builder loan is a type of loan specifically designed to help individuals build their credit. It is a loan that is meant to be repaid over time and can be an effective way to build a strong credit history and increase one's credit score.

To build credit with a loan, the first step is to find a lender who offers credit builder loans. Many financial institutions and credit unions in the USA offer these types of loans, so it's important to shop around to find the best interest rates and terms. Once you have found a lender, you will need to apply for the loan and provide some basic information about your financial situation, including your income and expenses.

Once approved, you will typically receive the loan funds in a savings account or certificate of deposit. The money will be held in the account until the loan is fully repaid. During this time, the lender will report your loan activity to the credit bureaus, which will help build your credit history and increase your credit score.

In order to make the most of a credit builder loan, it is important to make all of your payments on time. Late or missed payments can have a negative impact on your credit score, so it's important to make sure you have the funds to pay back the loan each month. Additionally, you should try to pay more than the minimum payment each month if possible, as this will allow you to pay off the loan faster and reduce the amount of interest you pay over the life of the loan.

In conclusion, a credit builder loan is a great way to build your credit if you are starting from scratch or have a limited credit history. By repaying the loan on time and making more than the minimum payment, you can build a strong credit history, increase your credit score, and have better access to credit in the future.

How to Establish Credit Having no Credit History

Establishing credit with no credit history in the USA can seem like a daunting task, but there are steps you can take to build a solid credit foundation.

  1. Take a loan. One option is to take out a loan or open a credit card. If you're approved for a loan or credit card, it's important to make on-time payments and maintain good credit habits. This will help show credit reporting agencies that you are responsible for credit and can be trusted to repay debt.
  2. Become an authorized user. Another option to consider is becoming an authorized user on someone else's credit card. This allows you to piggyback on their established credit, which can help build your own credit history. However, be cautious about whom you become an authorized user for and make sure the primary cardholder has a strong payment history.
  3. Apply for a credit union. You may also be able to build credit through a credit union. Some credit unions offer credit builder loans, which are specifically designed to help individuals establish or build their credit. With a credit builder loan, you borrow a small amount of money and make payments on time over a set period of time. The loan is reported to the credit bureaus, which helps build your credit history.

It's important to keep in mind that building credit takes time and patience. Make sure to monitor your credit regularly to ensure that it's being reported accurately and to stay on top of any negative information that may appear on your credit report. Good credit habits, like paying bills on time and keeping credit card balances low, will help you build a strong credit history over time.


What is the fastest way to build credit?

The fastest way to build credit in the USA is to make timely payments on a credit card or loan and to use credit responsibly. This means paying your bills on time every month, keeping your credit utilization low, and avoiding opening too many new accounts at once. Other ways to build credit include becoming an authorized user on a credit card bank account with a positive payment history, taking out a secured credit card, or applying for a small loan such as a personal loan or auto loan. 

How do you actually build credit?

Building credit involves using credit responsibly and making timely payments on credit card and loan accounts. Building a good credit history takes time and patience, but responsible credit use and timely payments will help improve your credit score. Additionally, regularly checking your credit report and correcting any errors can help ensure that your credit score accurately reflects your credit history.

How long does it take to build a 700 credit score from scratch?

Building a 700 credit score from scratch can take several months to several years, depending on your credit habits and financial history. A 700 credit score is considered to be a good credit score, but it can take time to establish a positive credit history and reach this level. The time it takes to build a 700 credit score depends on many factors, including your starting credit score, the types of credit you have, and your payment history. 

What builds credit the most?

The most significant factor in building credit in the USA is making timely payments on credit card and loan accounts. This shows lenders that you are responsible with credit and can make payments as agreed. Other factors that contribute to building credit include having a mix of different types of credit, such as a credit card, a personal loan, and an auto loan, keeping credit utilization low, and avoiding opening too many new accounts at once. 
The article was useful