Hello, everyone. Good credit is something that everyone strives for. Whether yours is good or bad, you had to start somewhere. Have you ever thought about what credit score everyone starts out with?
What is your beginning score?
Everyone starts out the same. No one has a credit score at all. Nobody starts out with a credit report. Credit scores are based on the info on your credit reports. Those reports are not created until you have had credit in your name for at least six months. Some people think that you magically get credit once you turn 18 years old. It doesn’t work like that, though. However, you can apply for a credit card once you 18.
Build from scratch
Since everyone starts with no credit score, we all have to build it from scratch. You first credit report will have information on the initial amount of money that you borrow. When starting out, you should get a credit card with a low limit. You also need to use it responsibly.
Your first account
When you apply for your first credit card or loan, the lender may pull your consumer report. If they do that, they will find nothing. Everyone will experience this the first time that he or she applies for credit the first time. Once you get that first credit card or loan, there are a few things that you should do to make sure that your credit score goes up.
Watch the amount
If you are taking out a loan for the first time, don’t take out too much money. You don’t want to start a debt cycle that you are not ready for. The same goes with your first credit card. Try not to get a credit limit that is too high. My first credit card had a limit of $500. That was alright with me until they started raising it higher and higher. It went from $500 to $3000 within a couple of years. That’s one of the ways that messed up my credit. That leads me to the next step.
Use your credit card responsibly
I didn’t do that back in the day. I used my credit card for things that I shouldn’t have. I don’t regret it because it was a heck of a learning experience. If this is your first credit card, you should only charge a small amount to your credit card. Then you should pay the full balance each month. This will speed your credit building process. Doing that shows the lenders that you can use the credit that has been offered to you in a responsible way.
If you have gotten into trouble with your credit, you might consider a tradeline. The term sounds complicated, but it isn’t. A tradeline is basically an entry in someone’s credit score. The idea behind buying one is you work with a company that matches you with someone trustworthy. You then get added to that trustworthy person’s account in boost your credit score. You have to pay a bit, but its a decent short term solution.
Pay on time
Make sure you pay your loans and credit cards on time. Your payment history accounts for about 35% of your credit score. That is more than a third of it. You can see why paying on time is important. If you think you may miss the dates, set a reminder on your phone or in Google calendar.
If you practice good credit habits, your score can go up after six months. If not, it can go as low as 300. You’re in charge of whether your credit goes up or down.
Jason Butler is an Atlanta native, as well as businessman, blogger and teacher. Not only is Jason a prolific flipper, marketer, writer and side hustler his number of years in higher education and student support have given him expert knowledge in understanding the economics of the student loan industry.