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Can you build up credit without a credit card?

Im too young to apply for a credit card but I know lots of things I would need to apply for (including housing) require credit scores. Can I build a positive credit score without a credit card?
#credit #creditscores #housing #underaged

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Tony’s Answer

Hi Jasmine, it's too early for you to worry about credit score. You can follow the suggestions from previous answers to start getting your FICO score. Once you become credit independent, you need to keep in mind for not doing the wrong things to lower the score. For example, don't make late payment and make sure to pay at least 25%-50% or pay in full the amount you owe. The best way is to set auto payment with the bank online account to make sure you never forget. You can register with Credit Karma and monitoring the score from their app. Make sure don't fall into their ads to open too many credit cards that you cannot handle the payments.

Good luck on your credit!!!

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Katya’s Answer

Hi Jasmine, building credit-does require you to have a credit card. However, you can take steps and making sure if you have any monthly payments- you make sure they are paid always on time.

Some banks- or most do offer a secured credit card. It means-that you deposit your own money usually $250-$300 and spend it. After, you get a monthly bill with a minimum monthly payment that must be satisfied on time.

Building credit -the number one key to a successful credit history is to never have delinquent payments on your history. Also, when you are applying for credit cards- be very selective in your choice. The best credit cards are the ones that have zero interest for at least 12-15 months-this will allow you to spend the credit money, pay it back with no additional interest accrued on it. Also, I like the credit card that give me either cash back , rewards, or miles- it all depends what kind of a spender are you and where it makes sense for your daily saving. I enjoy the cash back rewards- I get a percentage cash back after the spending I do.

However, I recommend that you try to budget your lifestyle and try not to use credit cards often as you don’t want o accrue debt with high interest rate or a high variable interest rate. Use it wisely- pay it back on time- pay it more if you can-don’t have more then 2-3 credit cards especially if you are just building credit history. The worst credit cards from my own experience when I was in college are the store cards- they all sound very good especially when you want to save -it their interest rate is way too high-those are the cards that get you into too much trouble.

Best of luck
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Steve’s Answer

You sure can. Have some money ($500 to $1,000) in a savings account in your bank. Then go to the bank manager and ask for a small personal loan and do not spend it but place that also in your savings account. When the manager asks you for collateral, allow manager to use your savings account as a full security that you will repay your loan in full and on time. May a few monthly payments on that loan, then pay that loan off in full using the money in your savings account. Wait a couple months then do this all over again. In 4-6 months do this again and watch your FICO score improve.

Enjoy improving your credit score.
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Steve’s Answer

You sure can. Have some money ($500 to $1,000) in a savings account in your bank. Then go to the bank manager and ask for a small personal loan and do not spend it but place that also in your savings account. When the manager asks you for collateral, allow manager to use your savings account as a full security that you will repay your loan in full and on time. May a few monthly payments on that loan, then pay that loan off in full using the money in your savings account. Wait a couple months then do this all over again. In 4-6 months do this again and watch your FICO score improve.

Enjoy improving your credit score.
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Charles’s Answer

The easiest would probably having your parents add you as an authorized user to your credit card. I also have heard of a credit builder loan, which a forced savings program of sorts, and your payments are reported to credit bureaus. You can also get secured credit cards, where your credit limit is based on a deposit that you give the credit card companies.


One site that I found to help build credit was this: https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/how-to-build-credit/


I also found this site, which will also help you on how to continue to build and establish good credit: https://www.creditsesame.com/blog/credit/how-to-build-credit/


Are you sure that the school is wanting a credit score for you to apply for housing? Or is this for off campus housing? I just wanted to make sure that you are establishing credit for the correct reason.


Take it from me, don't go overboard with credit (cards). I unfortunately maxed out several credit cards when I was in college, and it took me a very long time to rebuild my credit for a better APR (interest rate) on a car and house.

Charles recommends the following next steps:

Look into secured credit cards or credit builder loans through your local community bank
See if your parents can add you as an authorized user
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Dennis’s Answer

While I'm not sure the minimum age (or how long until you attain that age), Bank of America and Discover have some credit card options that are targeted to students, some of which don't require any credit history. There may be other credit card providers that have similar programs. If interested in establishing good credit, you should consider applying for a student card (with your parents consent) once you qualify. The key to establishing good credit is to use the card regularly but pay it off in full every month. That means don't take on more than you can afford to pay back each month. On the other hand, if you don't use it, you're not actively establishing credit. However, if you max it out and don't pay it down or miss payments, it will reflect negatively on your credit history and score. Your objective should be to demonstrate that you are credit worthy, i.e., that you are a responsible person who repays their debts. It takes time to establish good credit, so be patient. It is good that you want to get an early start.
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Dennis’s Answer

While I'm not sure the minimum age (or how long until you attain that age), Bank of America and Discover have some credit card options that are targeted to students, some of which don't require any credit history. There may be other credit card providers that have similar programs. If interested in establishing good credit, you should consider applying for a student card (with your parents consent) once you qualify. The key to establishing good credit is to use the card regularly but pay it off in full every month. That means don't take on more than you can afford to pay back each month. On the other hand, if you don't use it, you're not actively establishing credit. However, if you max it out and don't pay it down or miss payments, it will reflect negatively on your credit history and score. Your objective should be to demonstrate that you are credit worthy, i.e., that you are a responsible person who repays their debts. It takes time to establish good credit, so be patient. It is good that you want to get an early start.
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