5 Strategies for Building Credit with No Credit History

Building credit for individuals with no credit history

Limited or no credit? You’re not alone. Many people find themselves in this situation, unsure of how to build credit when they have no credit history. But fear not, because there are strategies you can follow to establish a solid credit foundation. In this article, we’ll explore five ways you can build credit from scratch.

Become an Authorized User

If you don’t have a credit history, getting approved for a credit card can be challenging. However, one option is to become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. This means you will have permission to use their credit account. By making purchases and paying off the balance on time, you can start building your own credit history. Just be aware that if the primary cardholder misses payments or goes into collections, it can negatively impact your credit report.

Apply for a Secured Credit Card

A secured credit card is another excellent option for building credit when you have limited or no credit history. These cards require a cash deposit as collateral, which determines your credit limit. By consistently making on-time payments, you can demonstrate responsible credit usage and improve your creditworthiness. Some secured credit cards even graduate to traditional credit cards after a certain period of responsible use.

Make a Small Purchase

Even if you had a robust credit history in the past, your credit accounts can become inactive or closed over time. To prevent this from happening, make a small purchase on one of your existing accounts and pay it off immediately. This activity will ensure that your credit report remains active and gives you the opportunity to receive a credit score. Remember, different scoring models have different requirements, so it may take some time to establish a credit score.

Report Your Monthly Rent Payments

While rent payments are typically not reported to credit bureaus, there are ways to leverage them to build credit. Some services, such as Experian RentBureau, allow you to report your rental payment history. This can be particularly beneficial if you regularly make timely rent payments. Alternatively, you can explore third-party rent reporting services, although these may come with additional costs.

Apply for a Store Card

Store credit cards can be easier to qualify for than traditional credit cards. If you frequently shop at a particular store, consider applying for their credit card to build credit. However, exercise caution and make sure you have a plan in place to pay off the balance in full each month. Store cards often come with higher interest rates and lower credit limits, so responsible usage is crucial.


Building credit with no credit history may seem like a daunting task, but it’s entirely possible with the right strategies. Whether you choose to become an authorized user, apply for a secured credit card, make small purchases, report your rent payments, or apply for a store card, the key is to establish responsible financial habits. By consistently making on-time payments and keeping your balances low, you can lay the foundation for a strong credit history.


  1. Can I build credit without a credit card?
    Yes, there are alternative ways to build credit, such as becoming an authorized user, reporting rent payments, or applying for a store card.

  2. How long does it take to establish a credit score?
    The timeframe can vary depending on the scoring model used. It may take at least six months to a year to generate a credit score.

  3. Are there any risks associated with becoming an authorized user?
    Yes, if the primary cardholder fails to make payments or goes into debt, it can negatively affect the authorized user’s credit report.

Remember, building credit is a marathon, not a sprint. Start implementing these strategies today, and you’ll be on your way to establishing a solid credit foundation.

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