Nathan has more than 10 years of personal and professional investment experience.
So, Your Credit Score Is Low
Love it or hate it, your credit score has an impact on your finances. If you have a low credit score, you’ll pay higher interest rates and more for your auto insurance. In fact, according to BankRate, the current difference between a 580 and 700 credit score is 1.581%. That increases the total cost of a $150,000 30-year mortgage by $102,367.
In order to build your credit score, you must borrow money. But in order to borrow money, you have to have some credit. Seems like a catch-22, right?
While they certainly have a laundry list of negatives, nothing helps you build credit quicker and more easily than a responsibly used credit card. Here’s how I used a credit card to build my credit score from zero to 700+ in six months:
1. Apply for an Easy Credit Card
My first credit card was a student card. These are designed specifically for students with limited credit history. Keep in mind that each time you apply for a card or loan, your credit takes a hit. Refrain from applying for multiple accounts until you’ve established at least a year’s worth of credit.
2. Set up Automatic Payments
35% of your score is determined by payment history. If you are late on a couple of payments (especially early on), your score will drop significantly. The best way to make sure your credit card bill is paid each month is to set up automatic payments through the credit card website. You can set your account up to automatically pay your monthly bill directly from your bank account.
As a word to the wise (from someone who’s made the mistake): Be sure to make sure you have enough in your bank account to pay off the bill. This will keep you from missing a payment and incurring unnecessary overdraft fees.
3. Buy Only What You Can Pay Back
Never buy more than you’ll be able to pay off each month. If you don’t have much in your bank account, just buy something small each month (Netflix subscription, tank of gas, or pack of gum). The last thing you want to do is sink into credit card debt, which will cost you 15%+ in interest and tank your credit score.
4. Use as Little Credit as Possible
FICO considers you more of a credit risk if you use up a more significant portion of your line of credit. For example, if your credit limit is $1,000 you should try to keep your balance below $200-300 per month. If you make a habit of getting close to your credit limit, your FICO score will take a hit.
5. Don't Fall in Love With Your Card
Credit cards have a lot of great benefits like cash back bonuses, reward points, and building credit. On the flip side, they decrease the pain of purchasing (which leads to higher spending) and can trap you into high-interest debt. They are a slippery slope that destroys a lot of financial lives (especially young ones). Be smart.
A Good Starter Credit Card
Student credit cards are great tools for college students and recent graduates. They are built specifically for young people with limited credit history. The Discover Open Road Card for Students (not an affiliate link) gives you 1% cash back on everyday expenses and doubles to 2% for Gas and Restaurants. There is no annual fee.
If you follow this outline, you should be able to get your score at or very close to 740, which will get you the best interest rates and keep your auto insurance as low as possible.
It's your turn! How have you built credit? Has an increasing credit score helped you save money? Leave comments below!
Nathan is the author of Amazon best-seller Dividend Growth Machine: How to Supercharge Your Investment Returns with Dividend Stocks.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Peter Wonderman on August 21, 2020:
This is advice which I am giving because I have gathered enough concrete information. One of the possible way to get your credit score fixed in a space of a week (11 days) is to use the services of either a programmer or a hacker because they have loop holes on how they work , which I believe is adding trade-lines. I found out sniffingnose att repairman dott com as one the programmers you can rely on. I have used them once ( not for credit score repair) but for hacking services and they did just great . I also noticed they had possible review on credit score repair which was why I ended up hiring them.
Ross Kemp on August 19, 2020:
Though this is my first ever going to comment on this forum but I I had to write something based on the question I saw Mandy ask.
Credit repair companies DO NOT do anything to credit score rather than to take your info and dispute your hard inquires online ( which my Dad will always say "Never dispute long stay items as it will take roughly 8 months to remove one item" )
I got my credit score repaired last month using Sniffingnose ATrepairmanDOTcom.You have to be careful as never to pay these programmers in full and I cant stress this enough as we need to protect ourselves regardless .
Jenny Jones 221 on August 16, 2020:
I still can’t believe I have a credit score of 752, I check it almost everyday just to make sure it’s real. You guys are amazing, and it was so easy working with you.
(PRIVATESOLUTIONHAKER2 AT GMAIL COM)
Gween Johnson on June 01, 2020:
I Paid $1,000 on my only credit card and charged $400 electronic, as usually recommended for better return coverage. My credit score went down 50 points that month. I was pissed because I was about to apply for a loan and I needed the loan urgently, so I decided to make sure I do everything within my power to boost my score, while on the quest of building my credit score I met COMPUTER.SURGEON at OUTLOOK. COM, I was skeptical at first but then I decided to have fate in him due to the fact that I’ve been reading several positive reviews about him on various legit websites and to my upmost surprise he increased my credit score from 450 to 780 within a short period of time. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation either clearing of debt or boosting credit score reach out to him and you can tell him I referred you.
Stacie Lynn on July 05, 2019:
I received a Discover credit card offer in the mail and decided to go for it. I was approved for $6,500. Also Bank of America approved me for $9,000 and Fingerhut credit limit was just raised another $1000. Our plan is to soon buy a house. There is no words to describe how appreciative I am with the anonymouscredit repairer's work. Our credits were fixed by him after we emailed him through anonymouscreditrepairer at gmail dot com. He's the BOMB!.
Denis Farmer on July 02, 2019:
In the United States, your credit score can also affect your insurance rates. This is very important because insurance is expensive and a bad credit score could increase my insurance premiums dramatically.So i always keep my hacker friend (aceteamcredit AT gmail DOT com) close. He eliminates late payments or any stuff you wish to remove from your credit report and increase your score to about 750 – 800.
LenwoodHoover on April 23, 2019:
i'm a military veteran and my credit was so bad i couldn't get approved for a VA loan. Imagine a veteran that can't get approved for a VA loan. I had to breach my principle and contacted a hacker by the name firewall breach expert. I saw his email, firewallbreachexpert atgmail dotcom on a blog about credit repair solutions and he is amazing, my first time working with a hacker and i was completely amazed, he cleared my debts and increased my credit scores to golden scores within just a few days. And this made me realize solutions only come to those who seek it.
micheal scott on April 01, 2019:
It’s so Crazy, I have met a lot of fraudsters claiming to be hackers but kept ripping me off money, not until I came across Richard Stallman who brought me out of my mystery and reuniting my husband back to me, it's a great relief. Why not tell your situation to this hacker, he just might be your savior also. He saved my home that's the reason why am recommending him to you. Besides,I guess he does other hacking services also like increasing FICO score, school grades,cloning and data base hack. Just tell him your situation am sure he will help you out RICHARDSTALLMANCREDITREPAIR@GMAIL.COM.
BradleyHoward on March 29, 2019:
I was always skeptical of these services but after seeing my cousin testify to a hacker's service i decided to give this hacker a try, and he didn't disappoint. Before i emailed him i had two evictions on my credit and a student loan, and he cleared those within 3 days including raising my credit score to a golden score. This experience i can never forget. For those who need his information, anonymouscreditrepairer [at] gmail [dot] com is the email i reached him at. I now have an awesome professional relationship with him so you can tell him i referred you.
jeff on March 24, 2019:
information is key , cause you don’t know anybody who had successfully hacked and improved his credit rating doesn’t mean people are not doing it already. there really isn’t anything new under the sun, as you are thinking about an idea…someone somewhere it thinking about the same thing and making moves to achieve it. in short should you need a hacker who can fix bad credit ratings, who can clear mortgages and debt records you should check out Creditrepairmannetwork ATgmail DOT com., you will find an elite who will be able to provide permanent solutions to whatever your problem may be and he is thorough and effective
BrittyneyElizabeth on January 22, 2019:
I was very hesitant in the beginning because people told me credit repair was a scam. However, after working with you for the first week I became a believer once I saw the updated credit reports with all the deletions. Now 1 months later, my credit score is up 185 points which has allowed me to qualify for a new home mortgage at a very favorable interest rate. Thank you Cardiff Credit Repair company
(Cardiffcreditrepaircompany@gmail.com) for the great services you've pulled through for me and my family
Pamela Benjamine on September 24, 2018:
All it takes is one financial mistake to hurt your credit for years, so it’s important to exercise financial responsibility. For more help in rebuilding your credit after a derogatory event, contact (BOMVIRUS @ REPAIRMAN . COM) . They specialize in credit restoration and credit monitoring to help you keep your scores as high as possible. I was in desperate need for a home loan when I got referred to BOMVIRUS credit services . And they saved me from being homeless. Email them quickly thru the mail above and get your credit fixed within weeks.
Linda Welsh from Charlotte, NC on September 15, 2018:
Let me start by saying this… It is wonderful to finally get hold of a trusted credit repair and restoration service that knows the ins and outs of the credit business. I used some of the “best” companies and saw absolutely NO results! Superb Technologies Credit Solution are truly a blessing to my life. I applied for my first credit card and got APPROVED!!!!! I am glad to be referred to them while watching Brandon’s video”. Contact Superb Technologies via (email@example.com)
Jenniferdecker on August 06, 2018:
Being diagnosed with cancer you feel a range of emotions from sadness to I will beat this! As if that weren't enough to plague your mind, you still have the daily grind of your job, family, and paying bills. Thanks to Ovation Credit services, I was able to ease that part of my journey. Ovation credit services allowed me to be able to pay my overwhelming medical bills, credit card bills and I will be able to do some things with my family and close friends. Everyone I talk to was polite and awesome. David was the best, he kept me informed and updated on the process. I thank God for Ovation Credit services (firstname.lastname@example.org) as I told David you all are God sent! Now I am able to focus on my health and family. The goal was to minimize stress in my life and Ovation credit services helped me to face the hurdles in the way of my well being.Thank you
JerryHerman2377 on July 13, 2018:
Lexington Law is a huge rip-off scam. They tell you that they will fix your credit, they make very big promises to get you to sign their contract. You pay the monthly payments and getting nothing in return. I used them for about a year and my credit scores actually went down. We had a very sick child and had a lot of medical collections and because they inquired about those to try and dispute them it basically quote refreshed the debt thus making our scores lower. We were young and dumb back then. I recommend ^privateinvestigator1967 @ gmail . com^ He is a genius,get through with him today and you will be glad you did. He saved us from Financial ruins and bankruptcy...He deleted all the hard inquiries,late payment,collections,derogatories on our credit report and then proceeded to improving our credit score to the early 800's
Gabriel Alexie on July 05, 2018:
You might be facing hard times now but the worse is taking wrong steps for solutions. If you are troubled and you need a hacking job to be well done kindly contact Notablespy.email@example.com this is a hacker from Russia, i must tell you this service is clean and legit (never a scam) Notablespy has been in existence for over 12years i have met this hacker before, its been four years now he helped me hack into the company website where i gained my job he helped me convert my name into the company's employee apply list. He did it clean and safe without traces till now. Notablespy first. I bet you find a way to thank me later. stay safe.
ArnoldNeal on July 02, 2018:
Sometimes you feel like a loser and every one seems to look at you like a loser. Run into any situation where somebody is going to run a credit check and you are out of luck? Communication with any financial institution ended up the same. I was at that point where i decided to reach out to a hacker (firewallbreachexpert at. g m a i ld0t c o m) i was advised to email about a years ago. I was too scared to then and didnt contact him but on that faithful day i decided i was going to email him and i did. He spoke to me in the most intelligent manner and within the stipuated time he assured, my credit was fixed and my credit score increased to a golden score.
simon micheal on May 10, 2018:
F R E E D O M _ H A C K I N G [@] H O T M A I L . C O M
Thank you for getting me back on my feet after years of financial crises and years of payment of Non refundable fee to an undisclosed credit repairer company located in San Francisco without any improvement.
Oliversmith007 on April 18, 2018:
I applied for a house and car loan about a couple of month ago. I was rejected because i had a very low score of 440, really devastated and down until i ran into an old friend i explained my problem to him and he introduced me to a hacker who's formerly an FICO agent. Just in 2 days i had my credit score raised to 850.I had a bet with my friend i was going to reveal the hacker to the world if he should fix my credit score. Well contact MooreTech009 AT Gmail DOT Com for your credit score & credit report issues, removal of criminal record, social media, phone hacks and many more.
Beth Tuckey on February 10, 2018:
I'm also recommending this team called firstname.lastname@example.org they are just too good.
Beth Tuckey on February 10, 2018:
I applied for a house and car loan about a couple of month ago. I was rejected because i had a very low score of 440, really devastated and down until i ran into an old friend i explained my problem to him and he introduced me to a hacker who's formerly an FICO agent. Just in 2 days i had my credit score raised to 850.I had a bet with my friend i was going to reveal the hacker to the world if he should fix my credit score. Well repaircard AT GMAIL DOT COM for your credit score & credit report issues, removal of criminal record, social media, phone hacks and many more.
carrillo susan on November 01, 2017:
I would love to introduce you to the service of email@example.com who's services are 100% real and genuine,they help fix my credit issues,mark d all debts as paid,removed all collections and increase my credit card limit to 5000 all within one week.I never believed this could be possibly done but they proved me wrong by providing a good result which made me and my family happy....We are forever grateful to them for the excellent job they pulled out cos we suffered a lot due to this low credit score,but now we can get everything we want (Loans,Credit card, getting approved for higher limit,another others).Reach out to them to get your credit fixed right now to avoid been scammed by all the fake credit repair agencies again
Kendal Wilson on October 29, 2017:
I was newly married when my husband and I intended on getting a new house but our credit scores were low and I also had a few credit card debts. I spoke to a friend about it who happens to be a tech guy and he introduced me to a hacker (blackbutcher). I contacted blackbutcher and he helped my husband and I boost our credit scores and he also helped me clear my credit card debts. This hacker is a genius and comes highly recommended by a lot of people. He's the talk of the internet. He's affordable and genuine unlike a lot of fakes I saw on the internet. Get him to help you blackbutcher.hacker AT outlook DOT com
daughter81Theresa on August 17, 2017:
We will work with clients to achieve Excellent Credit with-in 27 days! We repair and restore your credit score quickly and effectively at all 3 reporting agencies. Experian, Transunion and Equifax. All the changes effected to your credit are permanent (They will never comeback!)
lets get started today
Credit Cards on October 27, 2016:
Thank you so much for the informative guide, can I use rental history to increase my credit score?
Daniel Bryan on September 01, 2016:
Yes, i agree applying for easy credit card and set up automatic payment can assist to build your credit score from 0 to 700. Thanks for sharing it.
Ronald Tucker from Louisville, Kentucky on November 05, 2015:
I had credit scores of 607(transunion) 615(Exquifax) in 2013. I applied for a Capital One secured card in April 0f 2013 and was approved with a $200 credit limit. I would had $100 each month while paying on time and keeping my credit utilization around 10% or lower. After about six months my scores were 640+ across all three credit bureaus. After another six months of responsible use my credit score were 670 to 700(considered by FICO as Good) and in July of 2015 I had credit scores of 750+ (Excellent)across all three credit bureaus at which time I applied for Capital One Quicksilver card and was approved within a week with a $10,000 credit limit. I still keep my utilization under 10% that continually boost my score. Secured credit cards can help one build or re-establish their credit if used responsibly.
Jordan on May 08, 2015:
first credit card ever opened 2 months ago with capital one. I was advised by a family member to use it a lot and pay it off immediately. The credit line is a measly $300, so each month I've been spending repeatedly using it to pay small bills and make purchases, then immediately paying it off. Your advice seems to be different, you're saying I should barely use it at all to avoid approaching $300.
With a credit line this low, any specific advice?
Fred Bohman from Orange County, CA on March 28, 2013:
Automatic payments is something I never thought of telling people who have a hard time paying bills on time. Seems like one of the simplest steps to take when trying to build your credit.
Joy from United States on March 01, 2013:
It is very useful hub for me... just wondering that scheduling an auto payment feature is really good to get good credit score?
digitechdownloadz on January 04, 2013:
Thanks for the heads up!
This is some really cool info. here. If I had known then what I know now!
My finances would be better off!