Easy Ways to Build Your Credit | The Refugee Center Online
A credit score is very important in America. Your credit score also known as your FICO score is a number that represents the risk a lender takes when you borrow money.
Easy ways to build your credit: Most newcomers consider the term “credit (FICO) score” a foreign term and find it hard to understand, but it is often heard of. When arrived in the U.S., I could not get an apartment nor a car loan because I did not have a credit score. So I was determined to get one as soon as possible, and I made many mistakes in the process. I applied for many credit cards at the same time and got rejected.
Once I started getting credit cards offers in the mail. I opened multiple accounts and closed some as soon as I got a new offer. So how do you do properly builds credit? And what are some easy ways to keep good financial records? Let us start by learning what the term credit score means. Here are a few easy ways to build your credit.
What is “Credit Score”?
In simple terms, credit score is your financial performance… but what does that mean? It means that banks and other financial institutes keep records on you; and report how much money you owe them, if are you paying on time, how long you have been borrowing from that bank, how many different loans you have, and how often you open new credit accounts. And since you are new in the country, you will have no beginning credit score, and banks cannot determine if they should give you a loan or not. Now let us look at tips to help you build your credit score.
Refugees arriving in the US have an excellent opportunity to establish a good credit score by paying back their travel loan on time. If you do not make payments or fail to talk with the organization responsible for your loan, it will have a negative impact on your score. Also, take the time to pay your loan; do not pay at once and make the same mistake as me. Reports are sent from time to time, and positive reports can boost your credit.
Get a Secured Credit Card
Do your research and ask questions before signing up for a credit card. Banks and credit card companies offer what is called a secured credit card to help people build their credit. The bank will require you to deposit up to $200 to give you access to $200. If you pay on time and are responsible with your spending, you will get the deposit back and increase your credit score.
Have a Co-signer
A co-signer is a person with a good credit score who is willing to apply for a car loan or an apartment with you. The co-signer will be as responsible for the loan as you are; if you fail to make the payment, the co-signer is legally accountable as well. Be aware of your personal responsibility if you choose to be a co-signer for someone in the future.
Be an Authorized User
If you have a family member that is willing to make an authorized user on their credit card. It can be an excellent way to establish your credit. However, you have to be extra careful with making payments on time because it can hurt their score as well. Additionally, check with the credit card company to see if they have any fees associated with having multiple users.
Pay your credit card on time and avoid fees.
Finally, be wise about your spending habits. One of the easy ways to build your credit is to not spend more than what you can afford. In addition, pay your credit card(s) off monthly to avoid paying interest. You will also have to check for any issues with purchases on your account. Report any issues immediately to prevent further problems. Having a credit card, or being able to apply for a loan, is an opportunity to grow so use it wisely.