When Should I Start Building My Credit? What Helps Build My Credit Score?

 Although building your credit score can seem expensive or daunting, a secured loan is a simple way to build your score, and your savings, without going into debt. 

You should start to build credit before you need it! Building credit doesn’t happen overnight, so it's never too early to start. 

Know where to check your credit history: You can check your credit score at the three major agencies: Experian, TransUnion, Equifax. Check if you have anything on your file. Is it accurate? You might be surprised by what is on your credit history!

What Type of Payments Can Help Me Build My Credit? These are some of the type of accounts that report to credit bureaus:

·        Major credit cards (Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover)

·        Store credit cards (Amazon, Target, Sears)

·        Installment loan accounts (mortgage, student or car or credit builder loan)

 

These are types of accounts that don’t report to credit bureaus:

·        Debit cards (checking and prepaid)

·        Utility and phone bills (electric, water, cell phone)

·        Rent —unless you or your landlord provides rent-reporting services

So, having a checking account, renting an apartment and paying a cell phone bill does not mean you’ll have an established credit history.

So what should I do now? Begin by making sure you’re making your payments on time even if they don’t report to the credit agencies. You can ask your financial institution if you can sign up for a credit card, or a credit builder loan. Also check with your landlord to see if they can start reporting your rent payments.