How to Build Your Credit
Having a good credit score and credit history will play an important part when applying for any type of credit, such as personal loans, credit cards, car loans, and mortgages. Many people who have a very short credit history and are trying to build or repair their credit are often faced with the dilemma that you need credit to get credit. There are things that you can do to help you along though, and our Alberta mortgage broker team is here to help.
Open a Bank Account
This is probably the first, and most important step toward building your credit. When you open a bank account, you are getting your foot on the ladder towards a better credit score. We suggest having one checking account and one savings account. If you do have a checking account, you need to be careful and make sure none of your checks bounce or that it doesn’t become overdrawn. This is especially important in the early days of building your credit. The purpose here is to show lenders that you are responsible when it comes to handling your debts.
Getting Bills In Your Name
When lenders review your credit history, they will look for accounts that are in your name, including things like electric, phone and gas accounts, as well as a lease on an apartment. Again, it’s really important that you don’t miss payments or make payments late with these accounts because they will impact your credit in a negative way.
Stable Employment and Residence History
Another two areas that lenders will review are your residence history and employment history, especially if you haven’t yet built up credit. What they are looking for is steady employment and residency. If you seem to be going from one job to the next over a short timeframe or have a long period where you have been unemployed, it can be a red flag. It’s the same for your residential history. If you seem to be moving around a lot and switching jobs, it can seem as if your situation is too unstable.
Apply For Gas and Store Cards
Once you get your credit history going, you can try to apply for a gas or store card. You’ll find a lot of major stores that have their own lines of credit, such as Target, Macy’s, and JC Penny. It’s a bit easier to get approved for this type of card in the beginning, than a major credit card. Many gas stations offer their own line of credit as well. However, you need to check that these lines of credit are being reported to the credit bureau. If they aren’t, it defeats the whole purpose of building your credit and they aren’t worth applying for.
Secured Credit Cards
Once you have built up your credit a bit, have shown your situation is stable and that you are able to deal with your credit responsibly, you can try to apply for a major credit card, such as a Visa or Master card. If you aren’t able to get approved for these, you should talk to your lender or bank to see if they have a secured credit option that you can qualify for. The amount of credit you get on these matches what is in your bank account.
Qualifying for loans will help with building your credit history faster. Loans tend to be based on your annual salary and you have to make sure that you don’t miss or be late on making your repayments. Otherwise, it will have a negative impact on your credit score.
It’s isn’t impossible to build up your credit, but it does take some patience and work. The most important thing to remember is to always make your payments on time each month. This goes a long way in showing how responsible you are with your debt and credit.
If you want more advice on building up your credit, give our Alberta mortgage broker team a call today for more helpful tips.