• The Formerly

How Can You Build Credit?

Updated: Jan 30, 2019

To put it simply:

You get a credit card. But how can you get a credit card without credit? Ugh.

How do these people come up with this shit! Don’t worry though there’s kind of a beginner credit card that will help you establish credit. Kind of like a gateway credit card before you move onto the big leagues- Wow I’m sorry I’ll stop.

Anyway a secured credit card is a card that requires a small upfront deposit (aka money) so that if you fail to make payments the money you paid upfront is used.

Once you’ve established credit for about 6 months you can move onto an ~unsecured~ credit card with a higher limit, points, etc.

Moral of the story:

  • Apply for a credit card

  • You can literally Google the best beginner credit cards (Capital One & Discover have great ones)

  • Use your card


  • Keep your credit card balance low

  • And keep truckin

Another way to get a credit card or loan without credit is getting a cosigner… most likely it would be a parent because if you don’t pay your bills they are on the hook for the whole amount and no one else probably loves you enough to do that.


How can you improve credit?

Alright so let’s say you didn’t get off on the right credit foot because you blacked out at Bloomingdales one day and opened a store credit card. How can one improve your not so great credit? Or maybe you want to have a higher credit score so you can brag about it on your next date… WEIRD FLEX BUT OKAY

First look at the 5 factors from what determines your FICO score the 2 being the most important tackle those first. Remember those?

Payment history

  • Stating the obvious but pay your bills on time…

  • Set-up automatic payments on all your bills

  • Do it! Do it right now!

· How much you owe

  • After paying your bills put any leftover income towards paying off your credit balance

  • Cut down your spending- this way you can put extra money towards your balance

  • Cut down my spending? How? I couldn’t possibly! A little tip: you don’t need that ceramic mug that your favorite influencer uses or that dress you just swiped up on. I promise.

Okay so I’m sorry to pick on Sally again but you can’t use your drunken Amazon orders or too many shots at the bar excuse to run your credit card up to the point you can’t pay it. You know who you are- it’s only cute until you can’t pay your cc that month!! Reel it in Sally!

Don’t close credit accounts

  • Try not to utilize all the credit cards you have open lets say you have 4 open- only use 1 or 2 because closing accounts could ding your score

  • Don’t apply for a bunch of new credit accounts. Not only will the inquiry into your credit history hurt it, it’s a red flag to be opening numerous credit accounts at once

  • If you have a good credit score already but just want to keep improving it, that takes some other factors such as time and diversification. We can start small for now though and cover that later once you’ve established credit in the first place.

Are you supposed to check your credit?

These people are so finicky! It is generally okay to check your own credit score referred to as a “soft inquiry” but when you are applying for a credit card, mortgage, etc and a lender looks into your credit this is called a “hard inquiry”. The soft inquiry doesn’t have an impact on your credit score but the hard inquiry can.

Moral of the story is sometimes you can’t help getting dinged a little for these hard inquiries- you might be applying for a new credit card or an apartment so it’s necessary. Try to spread these out as much as possible though and get credit card happy.

To see HOW to check your credit take a look at this post and see how it ranks on our emoji scale