How to start building your credit for free

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SAN JOSE, California, January 11, 2022 / PRNewswire / – Whether it’s annual fees, loan origination fees, or interest you can’t avoid, many of the options for construction credit require some kind of payment. This can make it difficult to build your credit report and improve your FICO® score. However, if you know where to look, here are some free ways to get started, right from myFICO.

(PRNewsfoto / myFICO)

For more information on loans and credit visit the myFICO blog at https://www.myfico.com/credit-education/blog

Become an authorized user on a credit card

Rather than applying for a credit card on your own, you may be able to build and grow your credit by having someone, like a close friend or family member, add you as an authorized user. on one of their cards.

This is often a free option and the credit card company will send you an authorized user card linked to the primary cardholder’s account. But check with the card company first, as policies may vary and some card issuers may not report the account to the credit bureau under your name.

Before a friend or family member adds you as an authorized user, you can also make sure that they are handling their account responsibly. Although you receive an Authorized User Card, the primary cardholder remains responsible for making payments.

A card that is always paid on time and has a low balance compared to its credit limit could help your credit. But if they regularly have a high balance, it could lead to a Use rate it could also affect your FICO® score.

Use an interest-free loan circle

One option that gives you more control is to look for a builder loan which has no setup, administration or service fees, and does not charge you interest. Some nonprofits create and manage them to help people build and grow their credit.

One of the most common forms is a loan circle. Typically six to 12 people are gathered in a group, and each member contributes an equal amount – such as $ 50 at $ 200 every month – at the circle pool. A member receives the full amount of the pool and the beneficiary changes until each member has a chance to receive the fund.

Credit circles have always been informal community savings programs. By creating an organized structure and formal loan documents, the nonprofits that run the circles can report monthly payments to the credit bureaus.

One potential downside is that you won’t know where you will be in order until your circle of lenders is formed. While it might not cost you any money in the end, you might need to make the monthly payments for a while before it’s your turn to get the pool.

Open a flexible secure credit card

Traditionally, a secured card requires you to send the card issuer a minimum refundable security deposit amount – $ 200 is current, which will determine your account credit limit. While you can get the money back, it could be inconvenient and costly in the meantime. Additionally, some secured cards have annual fees and high interest rates.

Several new banks are offering secured credit cards it can be easier and cheaper to manage. They often do not have an annual fee or minimum security deposit amount. And although you still need to set aside a refundable security deposit, these banks allow you to closely manage the savings account with security deposit.

For example, you can quickly transfer money to the account when you want to use your card. Or, if you change your mind, you can withdraw the funds without having to close your secured credit card.

Add rent, utility or other monthly bills to your credit reports

Another option is to search for programs that allow you to add “alternative data“to your credit reports, such as payments on your monthly utility bills, telecommunications, rent, or other bills.

However, many free programs fall under only one or two of the three major credit bureaus, and programs that fall under all three may have a one-time fee or a monthly subscription. Rent reporting programs may also require your landlord to register first. And, some can only add information to a credit report that has been created, meaning you can’t use it to start creating credit for the first time.

Still, it’s worth asking your landlord and looking at the options if you want to build credit without getting a credit card or loan.

Once you get started, learn more about how your FICO® score is calculated and what you can do to get a great score.

About myFICO
myFICO makes it easier to understand your credit with FICO® Scores, credit reports and alerts from the 3 bureaus. myFICO is the consumer division of FICO – get your FICO scores from the people who do the FICO scores. For more information visit https://www.myfico.com/ credit-education.

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