It's time to build your credit

Get a Credit Builder Card

Technically, this is a credit card, but it can be an effective way to build credit fast. Even if you don’t qualify for an unsecured credit card, almost anyone can get a secured credit card with any credit score: good score, bad score, or no score.

Here’s how a secured credit card works: you make a cash deposit that serves as collateral for the card. The amount you deposit equals your credit limit. You can charge expenses up to that limit, then repay the debt. Those payments are reported to credit bureaus.

Over time, if you pay your balance on-time, you may qualify for an unsecured credit card account, and you may be refunded that initial deposit you made.

Something to be aware of is that secured credit card issuers often charge a large annual fee and tend to have higher interest rates than unsecured credit cards. That’s because, without good credit, you may be seen as more of a risky customer. It’s important to pay your balance in full each month to avoid high-interest fees and snowballing credit card debt.

Also make sure to keep your credit card balance low, ideally at 10% of your credit limit or less. Keeping your credit utilization below 10% is a good way to improve or optimize your credit score.