Credit cards are very useful when trying to build credit. However, it is important to manage credit card use because they can lead to debt when misused. Here are some ways you can build credit with a credit card.
Apply for a new credit card – Look for a card with a low spending limit, which may be easier to qualify for if your credit history is limited. Make small charges that you can easily pay off right away (i.e. using it for gas) and pay the balance in full every month. Westport Federal Credit Union offers a low, fixed rate credit card at 11.99% APR that you can apply for 24/7 from the comfort of your home here.
Open a joint account or become an authorized user – If you’re having trouble getting your own credit card, another option for building credit is to become an authorized user on someone else’s account, or to open a joint account with someone who has a good credit history.
Credit cards aren’t the only way to build credit though. Here are some ways you can build your credit without a credit card.
Get a secured loan – If you have little to none, or even poor credit history, it may be difficult to get a credit card. A secured loan may be the best option to start building your credit. Funds, up to the amount in your account, are secured for the duration of your loan. As you pay your loan balance down, the funds in your account are released. The rate on the loan is 3.05% and it is a great option if you have little to no credit and you want to build it because it does get reported to the credit bureau.
Pay student loans – If you’ve got a college degree, you probably have at least some student loan debt. Student loans are reported to the credit bureaus, so making sure your student loan payment is on time every month can help build your credit. If the amount is too much, you can contact them to see if you can get a repayment plan.
Take out an auto loan – Auto loans are one type of loan that is easier to maintain. If you are planning to buy a vehicle, shop around for the best possible deal, secure the loan and make the agreed-upon payments on time every month. Westport Federal Credit Union currently has one of the lowest auto loan rates in the area at 2.79%. You can apply online here, and get a free pre-approval before you shop!
Building good credit takes time, usually between 3 and 6 months, but if you start this Fall, you could be in great financial standing by Summer. Have any questions? Call us at 508.679.0197 or visit us online at westport.org. Secure your financial future with us.