How To Build Good Credit Fast – 4 Easy Methods

4 Methods to Build Credit Faster
Spread the wealth!

If you’re new to credit, it’s no doubt that you’re looking for how to build good credit fast so that you can reap its benefits and use it as a wealth-building tool. No matter your age, you’re not too late to build your credit!

I say this in every article I write about credit, but it needs to be emphasized: credit is not for everyone. If you have an uncontrollable spending behavior and find yourself living beyond your means, credit will do nothing more than dig you into a hole. A hole of massive debt.

If you find yourself in a position where you’re spending more than you can afford and have not yet started using credit, don’t start. Instead, get your spending behavior together, start a budget, follow it, save some money, and then consider credit.

But for those of you who aren’t in that position and are eager to start building some credit, let’s begin!

Get a Secured Credit Card

If you’re new to credit, the chances of getting accepted for a credit card or any other loan are quite slim. Especially if you’re doing it alone and don’t have a cosigner.

If you find yourself in this position, then the best tool to start building your credit will be a secured credit card.

What is a secured credit card? It is simply a credit card that requires an initial deposit from the applicant. This deposit is what’s usually used as the credit limit for the card. For example, if you make a security deposit of $500, then $500 is your credit limit.

The deposit is simply required as a form of security for the credit issuer since they have no evidence of how responsible you are with paying back. This deposit serves as a type of collateral in case you default on your credit. But since you’re on this website, you don’t have to worry about that because you will never default on a single payment.

When you apply for a secured credit card, your chances for approval are much higher than if you were to apply for any other card without a credit score or with a low credit score.

When I applied for my first credit card, I started off with Discover It Chrome. It’s a card that I personally love and I still use it a lot!

When I applied, I was easily accepted without any prior credit history and got my deposit returned to me in exactly 8 months. They also provide great cashback benefits by giving 2% cashback on purchases at restaurants and gas stations, and 1% cashback on all other purchases. They will then match your accumulated cash to 100% of what you got in cashback.

From personal experience, I can say that Discover It Chrome was an excellent starter option.

Become an Authorized User

Becoming an authorized user is one of the best things you can do to start building credit. This is a way to piggie-back off someone else’s credit to build your own.

Essentially, when you’re an authorized user, you are able to use someone else’s credit account as if it were your own. Ideally, this should be someone that you trust like a close friend or a relative.

As the authorized user, you are not legally obligated to pay what you use on the account. That responsibility lies solely on the person who listed you as the authorized user. However, the activity on the account is still reported to the credit bureaus as your own activity. Thus, it goes toward your credit score as well as theirs.

But keep in mind that since you’re piggy-backing on someone else’s credit,  their activity affects yours, even in the negative cases. This means that if they don’t pay their bills, this negatively affects your credit score as much as theirs.

If you’re still a little lost on how this all works, here’s a brief video overview!

Something to keep in mind however is that after the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007, FICO actually changed the way they weigh the authorized user piggie-backing method to where it’s not as effective anymore.

For example, let’s say that your score shot up significantly from being an authorized user and you go apply for a loan or a credit card. The lender or credit bureau can actually look deeper into your account and see that your higher score is from being an authorized user and thus reject you for some loans.

It’s worth noting that this is not a very common occurrence, but rather a possibility. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that this deeper analysis and rejection can occur.

Pay on Time. Don’t Carry a Balance

It may seem obvious but the amount of value it has makes it a worthy method to place on this list. I cannot emphasize this enough: paying on time is one of the best things you can do to increase your credit score.

Your payment history accounts for 35% of your entire score. That’s more than any other section of your credit score as you can see from the image below.

pie chart of what makes up a FICO score

In addition, if you aren’t making payments on time, you now owe money. The money you owe accounts for 30% of your score which is the second biggest section of what your credit score entails. In total, this makes up more than half of your credit score.

In other words, if you’re missing payments on your credit cards or other loans, your score is being heavily impacted.

On top of that, the interest accumulating on the money you owe is now compounding and growing as you continue to hold off paying it down. So always make sure to make your payments on time.

To make it easier, something I recommend doing (I also do it myself) is setting up automatic payments every month. This way, you don’t have to think about when your payment is due and you don’t run the risk of accidentally missing a payment.

Also, always pay off your balance in full. Don’t just make the minimum payments. It makes everything easier on you to simply start fresh every single month and not start the month by carrying a balance on your account.

Keep Most of Your Credit Limit Available

Unfortunately, how much we use our credit line heavily impacts our credit score. As soon as you start using it, you are looked at as a borrower. So even if you have a $2,000 credit line, it doesn’t mean go and spend your entire $2,000 credit line month after month.

If you do this, you are seen as a risky borrower. The likelihood that you will be able to pay this back every single month is low.

So, there is a 30% general rule of thumb in terms of credit utilization ratio. What this means is that you should aim to use only a max of 30% of your credit line every month.

You’ve probably heard people say you should aim higher or lower but I like 30% because it’s what I do and it’s worked very well for me. This is the limit I have always stuck to and my score continues to climb.

Final Words

While building wealth without credit is possible, having it speeds up the process tremendously. It is one of the best wealth-building tools out there.

It’s important that we know how we can take advantage of credit, as well as how we can boost our score to reap its benefits.

But don’t get carried away. You might end up overusing it and spending more than you have. Don’t let this happen.

Remember, with responsible money-management comes responsible credit usage.

If you have any questions, comments, or experiences, please leave them down below! I’m more than happy to hear from each of you!


Spread the wealth!

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32 Comments

  1. Hello, this is truly a critical subject. Since the pandemic, scores of people are in debt up to their ears. As you pointed out, setting a budget and sticking to it should always be the 1st thing a person does to become debt free. You covered all the points, and the articles you highlight are very informative.  I’ll look into all of this myself as I go along paying these bills. The 35% on time payment ranks higher than any of the others, I didn’t know it was that high but thanks for all that you pointed out. Great article!

    1. Absolutely! I’m glad this was helpful!

  2. Great article! I’m one of those people who shouldn’t have credit. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself as there are many people I know in much worse situations but I find that once I pay down my cards I tend to find myself in debt again. 

    I tend to always lug around about $3,000 to $4,000 worth of credit card debt. I was paying it down and then COVID happened and I’m not making money anymore. I’m trying to change that by building my own business but that takes time and I always seem to “need” something and make excuses like “it’ll help me build my career” (which it really does!). But I’m hoping to get out of debt forever this time. 

    My credit score is pretty good at over 700 but I’d like to make it even better. Thanks for breaking down what counts against your score!

    1. I’m glad that your score isn’t too bad! Also, I like the fact that you come to know what your current limitations are and where you stand based on your spending behaviors. Most people fail to see the problem at all! I really wish you the best of luck on this journey and since you mentioned that you are building your business and you’re not making too much money, you should take a look at this article where I give a few easy online options where you can make some extra money on the side!

  3. Good post! These were all the things I learned about credit as well. I was also told that it’s good to periodically check your credit report and that you could do that completely for free each year. It looks like people are eligible for weekly credit reports at the moment due to COVID19. What are your thoughts on this?

    1. I think that anything that helps is something very good to take advantage of! Especially during COVID 19

  4. Interesting discussion. I have 2 credit cards each having its own features. Credit cards are very convenient especially for paying for products online but it can tempt you to overspend if you don’t keep in mind that what you are spending is a loan that must be paid back within the month. Every now and then my balance is too large for my comfort and I suspend the use of the card until I reduce the balance to what is acceptable for me. I am in the process of paying off one of them, and because the interest seems to be so high, I hope for the day when I bring them both down to zero and only have it as a facility.

    1. That’s a good strategy. Good luck with paying them of and keep up the great work! The first step is knowing that the problem is there and you’ve already taken care of that step

  5. First and foremost, thank you for identifying your audience right off the cusp. I also like how you said that you can start building your credit up at any age. I did learn that it is important to never touch your savings and only use your checkings. Lately, I have been adding to both to stop debt. I am eighteen years old and believe in the power of investment.

    Also, I never considered being an authorized user so this is a very interesting concept to keep in mind moving forward.

    From this day forward, I am only going to pay 30% of my monthly credit line. I found it very helpful to learn what all accounts for your credit score — not surprised there!

    Overall, I think your post is very effective and helpful. It would have been more beneficial if you elaborated further though.

    That said, is there anything else you think your readers should know? 

    I would love to hear more about these excellent tidbits.

    1. Yes, unfortunately, I did not want to make the article TOO long. I’m currently working a second article where I’ll be pointing to more benefits of how to build credit fast. When it comes to the 30% rule, I believe you misunderstood. The rule is that you should use 30% of your credit line, not pay of 30%. You should be paying off your bill in full every month for effective credit building. Nonetheless, I’m very happy to hear this article was helpful and I’ll be posing more content in the future that adds to these points as well as content that goes into each of them

  6. All though I don’t have much money to worry about this, I will have to think about it when I have more money. Thanks for the great points and for helping those out who are in debt!

    i look forward to reading more about this with your website. Thanks! Have a great day!

    1. Of course 🙂

  7. Thank you so very much for this informative article!  Building credit is important in an age where even buying a house or a car can depend on what your credit score is.  It is hard to start establishing credit, but I definitely agree that it is so important to NOT SPEND YOUR WHOLE CREDIT LIMIT!  This is risky borrowing behavior.

    1. You’re absolutely right!

  8. Hey! That’s an awesome and informative post. This is great for people who are trying to get a business loan or a loan for college studies. Either loan is useful for helping a person get themselves out of a financially unstable situation. And you’re right, it is possible to build wealth without credit depending on what business you start but having a good credit score significantly speeds up the process. 

    1. Absolutely true. I appreciate your feedback

  9. Hey there Misael,

    This is a great article with some great insights especially for the youngsters. I was just looking for ways to help my brother improve his credit rating. He is looking to finance a vehicle and has no credit rating at all. This article will really help him build his credit score. I like the authorized user tip, i did not know that one could do this. Atleast i can now use this method to assist my brother. Thank you

    Regards

    Lawrence

    1. Of course Lawrence! I’m glad to hear this was helpful 

  10. Hi @Misael

    Most people that have credit cards actually don’t know how much potential they have with them. It can be potential that can change your life for the best or it can be your ticket to a financial crisis. I agree that good credit can help people build wealth and other financial benefits. It comes without a doubt that those who love living beyond their miss will quickly dig their pit.

    Thank you for sharing this article. I will share it with my friends

    All the best,

    Sergej.

    1. 100% thanks for surfing around 🙂

  11. I owned a credit card for more than 35 years without knowing any information how should I managed it. Your article explained many things to me. In my last 35 years, I unintentionally follow some of your advice given in your content. My wife rarely follows any percentage of our credit limit, but we used auto-paying back our spending. 

    We do not over spend our whole life, but the bank never informs us what is our credit score point. With my record, should I ask the bank about my credit score? Can you let me know what is my benefit to get a high credit score? 

    I remember to apply my house loan to pay back in 15 years, the bank gives me a very low interest of 3%. Is this the benefit I get from my high credit score, although I am not aware of it.

    1. That’s good that you don’t overspend. Also, you can check your credit score on an app like credit karma or sometimes your card itself will give you a FICO score. My discover card actually provides that for me. 

      Also, if you want to know about the benefits of having a good credit score, then you should read this article on credit benefits!

  12. Great article on using credit responsibly. I like the sound of that. Most of the time, people warn you against using credit at all. Well, this article is a refreshing change. 

    Remember, with responsible money-management comes responsible credit usage. I like that tagline. It shows your great attitude. 

    Overall, this was an educative bit of writing. Thanks so much.

    Regards,

    Aps

    1. Of course 🙂

  13. This is such an interesting read. I wish I read this article a few years ago when I woke up with an idea to get a credit card (because of the points). People should be thought from an early age about how to build credit fast and with ease so they don’t get into unnecessary depths. 

    Thanks for the clarification! 

    1. Of course! Thanks for coming back 

  14. These are good tips not only for those who are new to credit but also for those who have accumulated some bad credit (pandemic, anyone?).  A couple of notes I’d like to add.  

    A person who piggybacks on someone else’s credit card does not actually have to have access to the credit…just be on the account.  And while the amount owed vs income ties to the ability to take on more credit, credit score also strongly considers the amount owed compared to the amount of credit available (which you pointed out) so if you piggyback on someone who has a larger amount of unused credit available, that looks better for the piggybacker.  

    Lastly, a great way to build credit (if you have the discipline to do it) is to use the credit card to pay monthly bills and then pay those off at the end of the month, since you presumably have the money to pay those bills anyway.  I had a friend who would pay for things with her credit card and then immediately pay that amount on her credit card.  

    Thanks for posting these great and easy tips to build credit!

    1. Cynthia, it’s great to see you on the blog again. Thank you so much for your feedback and those are great points to add! I, like your friend, use my card as well to take care of regular expenses and simply pay them off at the end of the month. It really is a good way to build credit!

      Again, great points you’ve added! Thank you.

  15. Good day, I’m pleased to meet you. I have gone through the piece of writing you have provided, this is one of the most important information ever. The way you outlined how to build good credit faster, and I agree with you that it’s important that we know how we can take advantage of credit, as well as how we can boost our score to reap its benefits.

    1. Nice to meet you too! Thank you 🙂

  16. Thanks for this well balanced post.

    I totally agree that building your credit score is of major importance, as if influences so many things that we apply for in the financial world.

    But it is important that your readers manage this carefully, as the way in which we build credit could just as easily make it worse.  If someone gets a credit card for the sole purpose of building their credit then they must apply your guidance closely.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you so much for that feedback 🙂 I’m glad you found this useful

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