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Here’s the Best Way to Establish a Credit History if You Don’t Have One

[Friday, October 28th, 2016]

You need a credit history to do so many things in this world: buy a house, get a small business loan, be approved to rent an apartment or lease a car, maybe even get a job. The problem is, you also need a credit history to be approved for a credit card – and the way to establish a credit history is by using a credit card.

It can seem like a chicken-or-egg situation: which comes first? The credit card, or the credit history? But in fact, you can establish a credit history without having a credit card. Here’s how:

The first and best option is to apply for a secured credit card, which will report to credit bureaus and allow you to establish a credit history. The catch is that you will need to put down a lump sum of money in order to get the card; usually $200 will do it. The amount you put down will become your credit limit. The reason for this is that the bank needs some insurance in case you default on your loan. Because essentially, a line of credit is a loan. And if you have no credit history, card-issuing banks have no way to know whether or not you will be trustworthy to pay off your debt.

Another option is to get someone to add you as an additional user on their credit card account. If you have a parent or a spouse with a good credit score, ask them if they can add you to their account. This is called piggybacking, and it works just like it sounds: it lets you piggyback on someone else’s good credit score and share the love.

Getting a secured credit card or piggybacking on someone else’s credit history are two of the quickest and easiest ways to establish a credit history. But remember, you can also try applying for a student credit card with a low credit limit. These are designed for people without credit histories, so chances are you will be approved.

If you have bad credit, as opposed to no credit, then a secured card is probably your best bet. There are many good ones available; apply today!

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[October 17th, 2018]

If you pay any attention to the finance industry, or even if you don’t, you’re probably aware that prepaid cards have become increasingly popular over the past several years. But you may still not quite know what a prepaid card is, or how one works.

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4 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Credit Score
[July 26th, 2018]

Maybe you think you know all there is to know about your credit score. You make your credit card payments on time, keep your balance low, don’t take out more lines of credit than you need, and monitor your credit report on a regular basis.

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5 Ways To Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards
[April 28th, 2018]

Most people have at least one rewards credit card in their wallet. But many people don’t know how to use those credit cards to their best advantage by getting the most points possible and redeeming them for rewards they’ll actually use.

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