How to Build Perfect Credit Score The Fun Way
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What is the one thing that could make or break your financial health: Perfect Credit Score
Second, it comes in many different forms, and it will ultimately define your worthiness as a reliable borrower.
Building credit can be tricky. If you don’t have a credit history, it’s hard to get a loan, a credit card or even an apartment. But how are you supposed to show a history of responsible repayment if no one will give you credit in the first place?
Also, how does someone who has little to no credit history start to build credit? Alas, here is 3 ways you can start your path to establish credit.
APPLY FOR A SHARED CREDIT CARD
These types of credit cards have offers at financial institutions and have a credit limit which is secured by money in a savings or checking account or by paying a certain amount of cash upfront as a deposit.
For example, if you have $1,000 in an account or put down as a deposit, your credit limit would be $1,000. Be aware that if you default on this type of credit card, the money you use as collateral will go towards the pay-off of the balance on your card.
APPLY FOR A CREDIT CARD
Department stores will be one of the first companies who will loan you credit in the form of a high-interest-rate credit card. If you’re building your credit score from scratch, you’ll likely need to start with a secured credit card. A secured card is backed by a cash deposit you make upfront; the deposit amount is usually the same as your credit limit.
You’ll use the card like any other credit card: Buy things, make a payment on or before the due date, incur interest if you don’t pay your balance in full. Your cash deposit is used as collateral if you fail to make payments. You’ll receive your deposit back when you close the account.
Secured credit cards aren’t meant to be used forever. The purpose of a secured card is to build your credit enough to qualify for an unsecured card — a card without a deposit and with better benefits. Choose a secured card with a low annual fee and make sure it reports to all three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
Moreover, the important things to remember is to not max out your credit limit, to make your monthly payments on time and to pay off the balance in full whenever possible to avoid paying interest charges when your statement arrives.
The biggest benefit is finding the right credit card that gives rewards based on your lifestyle. For example, I use the BJ’s Perks Credit Card. That gives 3% earnings on most purchases, 2% earnings on eating out and gas. Most importantly, the next time I drop $600 on groceries to feed my 4 children I can apply the cash back towards my purchase. In 6 Months I have Received $900 Cash Back
GREAT CREDIT SCORE COMES WITH GREAT HABITS
Building a good credit score takes time, probably at least six months with on-time payments. Access your TransUnion Credit Report. Review your credit report for signs of error, theft or fraud. If looks wrong, contact your bureau immediately for review.
Practice these good credit habits to build your score and show that you’re creditworthy:
- Make 100% of your payments on time, not only with credit accounts but also with other accounts, such as utility bills. Bills that go unpaid end up sold to a collection agency, which will seriously hurt your credit.
- Keep your credit utilization low — utilization is your balance when compared to your limit. We recommend paying in full each month, but if do you carry a balance don’t let it exceed 30% of your credit limit.
- Avoid opening too many new accounts at once; new accounts lower your average account age, which makes up part of your credit score.
- Keep accounts open for as long as possible. Unless one of your unused cards has an annual fee, you should keep them all open and active for the sake of your length of payment history and credit utilization.
- Check each of your credit reports annually for errors and discrepancies.
One helpful tool to learn more about the snowball method is Dave Ramsey’s book Smart Money Smart Kids. Its an easy read, 5 Stars and very inexpensive.
Add Alittle Extra on My Car Payment
I had been paying more on my car loan around the time I received my tax return and continued with the extra amount, but never increased the payments on other debts.
One method is to use a free Digit account when you have extra money. What I really like about Digit is that it tracks my bank account and determines how much money I can save. Some weeks it might be $5 and other times it might be $20. You don’t have to worry about overdraft and can contribute less or more if you need to. As of now, I don’t know an easier way to save money! You can learn more about Digit here.
GET CREDIT FOR THE RENT YOU PAY
Rent-reporting services such as Rental Kharma and RentTrack take a bill you are already paying and put it on your credit report, helping to build a positive history of on-time payments.
Not every credit score takes these payments into account, but some do, and that may be enough to get a loan or credit card that firmly establishes your credit history for all lenders.
I also recommend trying to sneak in a little extra free money by using Ebates. If you have to do any shopping online, you earn cash back on every purchase. I have made over $250 in the past six months for just doing my normal shopping but checking Ebates every time before I purchase. This is free money that is put into your PayPal account.
Ibotta is another free cell phone app. You use it after you go grocery shopping and use your receipt. It’s basically a rebate app, so you can earn anywhere from 50 cents to $5 off everything you buy.
My favorite part about this app is that it’s not always brand specific, like a lot of coupons are. So you’ll be able to scan “any brand of bread” for 50 cents off, etc. If you do coupon – you can STILL use Ibotta and get a rebate. For the die-hard coupon-ers out there, this will often result in getting an item for FREE. Crazy, right?
If you want to grab the Ibotta app and start making money off your grocery receipts, click here to get started. Here’s a $10 cash bonus when you scan your first item that you can deposit into your PayPal account!
TIP: Starting a blog is one of the best ways to make some extra money. If you want to start a blog, Bluehost has the cheapest options to get started.
PURCHASING A VEHICLE
Buying a car is a double-edged sword for your credit. Also, on one hand, you have a new car! Great.
On the other end, as a car buyer and someone with little-to-no credit history, you’ll likely have offers at a high auto loan interest rate unless you can provide a large down payment. One of the best places to shop for your auto loan rates is at your local credit union.
Finally, you can end up paying a lot more over the life of your loan so be sure to read the fine print of your loan documents before you sign them.
CHECK YOUR CREDIT SCORE AND REPORTS
A credit report is a record of how you’ve used credit in the past. Your credit scores estimate how you’ll handle credit in the future, using the information in your credit reports. You’ll want to monitor both to watch for errors and to see your credit-building efforts pay off.
Several personal finance websites, including NerdWallet, offer a free credit score. Look for a site that also offers free credit report information, as well as educational tools such as a credit score simulator.
Several credit card issuers print FICO scores on customers’ monthly statements and allow online access as well. Some go beyond that and offer free scores to anyone, cardholder or not: Discover offers a free FICO score at CreditScorecard.com, while Capital One offers a free VantageScore at its CreditWise website.