While it’s possible to live life to some extent without using credit, that scenario is becoming increasingly difficult to do. The world now revolves around credit for much of its operations. Credit allows for transactions to be facilitated much more easily and quickly than traditional forms of payment. So how do you get credit and once obtained, how do you manage it so that your credit reflects favorably when you want to use it.
Establishing your credit in some ways is a catch 22. You need credit in order to obtain more of it. If you’re applying for a new credit card, it might be difficult for you to get it because you don’t have a history of credit with which credit card companies can use to assess your credit risk. If that’s the case, then where do you start?
There are a handful of things you can do to address this dilemma. The first thing you can do is ask a family member to add you as an authorized user on their credit card. By doing this both the owner of the credit card and the authorized user of the credit card are liable for charges made. History is accumulated for both parties. This example is frequently applied for parents who want to help their children who are going off to college.
Having someone co-sign for a loan is another way of initially establishing credit. Keep payments up and soon enough you’ll see your credit be available for future lenders to see.
The previous two suggestions pretty much require you to piggyback off someone else’s existing credit. What can you do yourself to start this process of having your own credit and credit score. Many banks offer what’s called secured credit cards. Essentially these are lines of credit based off of a deposit you have with them. Open up a bank account and deposit some funds. Use your secured credit card in accordance to what funds you have at the bank.
Having credit and managing your credit well is a necessity and a priority. The use of credit is a privilege. It must be handled responsibly. Keep your credit free from inaccuracies and monitor your credit for instances of fraud.