Building Good Credit in your Twenties with a Credit Card

Build credit history

This post may contain affiliate links.  For my full disclaimer, click here.

 

You wanna know what’s more important than throwin’ away money at a strip club? Credit – JayBo

Good credit is needed for literally everything you could think of. You want to buy a car with a low-interest rate? Boom!  need credit. Trying to get a house? Yep you guessed it, CREDIT. Even looking for a new job could require a credit check. Everyone wants to know if you are responsible and trustworthy. Your credit score is a  numerical snap shot of just how risky it will be to do business with you. If you’re a recent graduate that has never had a credit card or car note, you basically have no credit. Yep, that means banks will laugh at you if you even think to twist your lips to ask for a dollar (not really but you get the point)..

How do you get credit?

When you have no credit history, it can be hard trying to get a loan without an extremely high interest rate that will send you into depression. Just about the only loan you can get without any credit history is a student loan (go figure), and some shady car places. Furthermore, building and maintaining good credit could be quite easy if you know what the hell you’re doing.

The credit scale goes from 300-850. To get an idea on how scores rank see the chart below:

Excellent  750+
Good  700-749
Fair  650-699
 Poor  600-645
 Bad  >600

 

The scoop on Credit Cards

Before closing the browser window hear me out. Credit cards are not that scary, getting a credit card is the easiest way to build credit for a person with zero credit history. I didn’t get my first credit card until after I graduated college. I planned on getting a car but had no history, which meant no bank would give me a loan to finance a car. So I did research and found out that Capitol One is a great place to start for building credit. Now don’t go overboard, just start with only one credit card and as long as you make payments on time and don’t ball out at the mall on credit every weekend, you should see your score slowly rise.

Capital One offers a platinum card and a student card for people with zero to average credit. I started off with a platinum card. I was approved immediately and was surprisingly given a $1000 credit limit with was later increased to $3000. The credit card help boost my score from piss poor to 670 (fair) in 5 months. Capital One also offers a free credit reporting feature so you can have your score right at your finger tips.

HOWEVER

STAY AWAY FROM STORE CREDIT CARDS, Forever 21, Victoria Secret, NIke etc are notorious for making it tempting to reel you in for the kill. Definitely, not a good card to start off with when trying to build credit.  They promise $25 off, 15% off and everything else that sounds good in order to get you to sign up. But if you miss or make a late payment, those store cards come packed with high interest rate and you’ll go owing $50 to to $200 in a blink of an eye.

Don’t stop there

Once you have the credit card. It is important to actually use the card. While credit agencies don’t count the amount of transactions you’ve had for the month, they do take into consideration the fact that you are actively using the card and spent money. For every month you use and make payments on the card, your credit will continuously increase. Soon or later your credit will be higher than Snoop Dogg.

But Be Careful

You are not Floyd Mayweather, and you are definitely not on anyone’s money team. YOU need to make sure that you pay more than the minimum payment and pay off all of your balance each month.  This is supppeerr important and is the key factor in determining your credit score. How important? Lenders look at your ability to pay off loans, this accounts for 35% of your overall credit score. If not you will see a decrease in your score. you’ll go from 700 to 300 REAL QUICK!

Be responsible, don’t put more on your credit card than you can afford. SIMPLE.

DON’T BE LATE

For the sake of your credit score, it’s best to always make on time payments. Not acting in a timely manner on a late payment turns it into a collection and will cause major damage on your credit score. I know things happen and sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, therefore if you ever find yourself in this situation follow these steps:

  1. Try calling the company you owe and negotiate to remove the collection by making  a full payment. Some companies will even allow you to arrange a payment plan.
  2. Write a letter, email or snail mail style, stating that you promise to pay your debt off if the collections are removed from your credit report. If the company is understanding, they will remove it, it not…it was worth a try.
  3. What ever you do, DO NOT call a collection agency. They are fast talking and shady and like to confuse you. By the end of the call you will end up paying the debt in full with the collection still on your credit.

Final Remarks

Though credit cards help you build credit responsibly, it’s still always nice to have one in case of emergencies or for a rainy day. Treat your self when right but never go over board.Make sure you spend within your means and your credit score will flourish.

 

 

Leave a Reply