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5 Tips to Help You Start Building Credit

Varty Yahjian headshot

Varty Yahjian

Rockstar marketing intern

Credit. What is it? Who made it? And why do we need to build it?

These are the questions that plague us all. While baby boomers seem to be the only ones who have a handle on it, millenials and on appear to be struggling with the notion that financial responsibility is not just getting and spending your paycheck. It’s mostly proving to banks, lending companies and car dealerships that you are trustworthy and diligent. Moreover, some purchases just can’t be made in cash! Read on for five tips we’ve collected to help you get in control of your finances.

Opening up a credit card account

There are tons of options when it comes to starting a credit account. Starting one from scratch can feel very intimidating, but a good option for first timers is a secured card. These are cards backed by an amount you pay upfront--this amount will usually become your spending limit as well. Just make sure you know that this card is not long-term, it’s intended to help you start growing your credit so you can apply for a card with better rewards and typically, a higher credit limit.

Have savings and checking accounts

Few things scream “mature!” like a robust savings account does. Having a neatly balanced system of income, spending and saving looks very appealing to lenders who will be more likely to offer you a credit account. It is not important to have many accounts, just a few that always have sufficient funds in them. It’s also good to compare savings and checkings accounts. Finding a savings account that suits you and has a high interest rate (such as Rize) is the smart thing to do!


Having a steady income is the best way to measure exactly how much is coming in to your various accounts. By maintaining a budget, (that you actually adhere to) you can ensure that your needs are covered. Assigning monthly limits to your spending categories will help keep you out of debt’s way, or even help you get out of it. By budgeting for essentials, like gas, rent, groceries and your credit card statements, you’ll never miss a payment. This in turn will positively affect your credit score. Read on for more reasons budgeting is essential.

Make more than the minimum payment

This goes hand in hand with budgeting. Your minimum payment on a credit card typically is consistent month-to-month and your statement is reflect this. The minimum payment functions to help chip you chip away at your balance and you should be able to budget your income to make it. Here are some apps to help you budget and set aside to make your payments monthly.

Get credit for making rent

Paying rent on time pays you too! Many major credit bureaus, like Experian, will allow you incorporate your rent payment history into your credit report. Positive rental payment history will reflect well on a standard credit report and may be included in your credit score. There are many middleman apps to mediate the process of paying your rent and having it sent to the bureau. Here’s an article that outlines the pros and cons.