Have bad credit (300-579)? Consider a card designed to help you rebuild your credit history and improve your score. But heads up - some may have a security deposit or fee. New to credit cards? See offers from our partners for students or those with no credit. Have good credit and want a broader selection of cards? Check out our best overall credit cards of 2018 and more great offers from CreditCards.com.
See offers from our partners below. Have good credit and want a broader selection of cards? Check out our best overall credit cards of 2018.
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Updated: January 1, 2018
Maybe you don’t have much experience with paying bills, or perhaps you’ve had a couple of late payments. Well, we’ve got your back.
The result of bad credit habits is that you can have a poor credit score, which lenders track to assess what loans and interest rates to give you. That’s why you want to shoot for a FICO score or VantageScore of at least a 700.
It may seem counterintuitive, but the best and fastest way to firm up that sagging credit is with a credit card. That’s right. Believe it or not, with the right credit card, you can improve your credit in a few short months. The trick is to know how.
Here’s what we look at:
We’ll tell you how to build your credit so there aren’t any surprises along the way.
The easiest and fastest way to build your credit is with a credit card. It has to do with how the scoring models are set up. Does that strike fear into your heart? It’s actually pretty simple. You’ll need to pull your credit reports with the 3 major credit bureaus (check for errors); check your credit score (so you don’t apply for a card that requires a score above what you have); and create a workable budget (with room for saving and fun). Now, pick a secured card (make sure the bank reports to the credit bureaus), and pay on time and in full each month. Within months, your good credit habits will be reflected in your score.
Secured cards are almost entirely for credit building. Here’s how they work: They require a refundable deposit, and your credit limit is typically that amount. They can have a few other features – some have no annual fee, and one gives you access to a higher credit limit after 5 months of good credit habits. Another doesn’t require a credit check. Secured credit cards are an excellent way to build your credit score when it’s not at its best. That said, beware of fees and make sure the card issuer will report your credit habits to all three major credit bureaus. Otherwise, all those good credit habits will go to waste.
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