In a world where numbers mean everything, one of the greatest financial worthiness is based on your credit score. What is a credit score you may ask, it is a numerical expression based on a level analysis of a person’s credit history sourced from credit bureaus. In the U.S., there are three national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).
Hello, I am 22 years old and have an excellent credit score after a little over a year. Here is what I did to achieve this. Keep in mind at all the factors that come into play, everyone is different. You can use these tips to improve your credit!
I had no previous credit on file when I first started building my credit back in July 2018. It does not take long, all you need is strong will power to not go overboard. I cannot stress this enough, having a credit card is NOT another source of money. Think of it like this, if you do not have the money in your checking/savings then you do not have the money to spend.
Steps before you get started!
- Make sure you have some source of income or savings/checking account. (I recommend Chase checking account) $200 referral offer when opening a new account.
- Sign up for a CreditKarma account to stay up to date on your score.
- If you have no self-control, question whether or not you should get a credit card.
- Do more research! This is all data from personal experience.
Now let's get started!
If you have bad or no credit I strongly recommend a secured credit card. This is a credit card where you decide how much of a limit you want by sending the company of your choice the amount. As an example, I sent Discover $300 for their secured card. After that a couple of months later I see my first credit pop up. A very exciting feeling when you see some numbers pop up on your credit report for the first time, almost like a “become an adult trophy”. After 6 months they will send you an email saying you have moved up to a regular credit line. They send you the security deposit back once your card is upgraded.
The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is what I started with. This card is really good after upgraded. Good limit increase and money based reward system. Read more at here
In between the 6 months after you signed up for the secured card you should have a credit score depending on whether you had previous credit or not. If you have good credit around (690-740) I recommend going for another card before you get your secured card upgraded.
The more account you have the better!
The second set of cards I signed up for was the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Capital One Platinum card. (I do not recommend the Platinum card there are hardly any benefits and low credit line) But I highly recommend the Chase Freedom card, great reward system, fast credit line increases, and did I say great rewards! Read more at here
Keep in mind this is a referral link, they give you $200 after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. This is given to you in the form of points that can be used to redeem cash, gift cards, or pay your bills.
Lastly, I signed up for the American Express Amex EveryDay® Card back in March 2019. This one has its pros and cons such as really high credit line, decent rewards, but the worth of rewards points are roughly 80% on the $1. Meaning If you have $1 worth of points, you will get around 80 cents in rewards. For this reason, I do not use it but it does a great job for your credit score history. Here is a link where you can learn more and sign up here
Keep in mind this is a referral link, they will give you $200 in points after you spend $2,000 in your first 3 months. It may seem like a lot, what I did was pay my bills, gas, and groceries. Only sign up once you are in the 730+ credit score range.
What to take away from this post and tips
- Make sure you have a source of income/savings
- Use CreditKarma to check your history frequently to make sure you are doing things right
- Ask yourself are you disciplined enough to own credit cards
- Make sure you do some more research before jumping into the deep end
- If you have a low or no credit history sign up for a secured card
- Do not let your balance add up, spend what you have and then pay it ASAP
- Take advantage of the rewards your cards provide, such as more points at restaurants, gas, and travel
- The more accounts the better
- Use different credit companies
- Be patient, it is worth it