Not every U.S. consumer has a credit score. There are several simple actions you can take when you have no credit score and no credit history in order to have a score within 6 months.
Typically, in order to have a credit score, your credit reports must have:
- At least one account opened for six months or more, and
- At least one account reported to the credit bureaus within the past six months.
Fairly simple actions can help build credit when you have no credit score and no credit history, without causing too many hard credit inquiries:
3 Loans for No Credit History
Stilt Personal Loan
Stilt offers personal loans targeted at immigrants with no credit history. Stilt doesn’t require a Social Security number or green card to apply. Stilt loan amounts range from $1,000 to $35,000, with maximum loan terms of up to 36 months with no prepayment penalties.
Stilt also offers loans to underserved communities that may have bad credit. Other factors like current employment (or employability), education, collections, and bankruptcies are considered rather than solely depending on your credit score when reviewing applications.
Stilt offers personal loans in only 16 states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Virginia.
Self-Lender Credit Builder Loan
Self-Lender offers a credit builder loan similar to a savings-secured loan except you don’t need any money upfront as collateral. Self-lender partners with several FDIC-insured banks to open a certificate of deposit (CD) for you. Self is available in all 50 states.
You pay monthly on the CD for the term of the loan. Those payments get reported monthly to the credit bureaus which helps build credit. At the end of the CD term, typically 12 or 24 months, you get the money. The lowest payment — at $25 a month — has a two-year term. And, you’ll receive the funds once you pay the full loan amount.
Digital Federal Credit Union Credit Builder Loan
The DFCU Credit Builder Loan is designed for consumers that need to establish credit or need to get a fresh start on rebuilding credit history. Build or rebuild credit without any money upfront. You must first join the credit union by opening a checking and savings account. Digital Federal Credit Union serves all 50 states.
The maximum credit builder loan amount is $3,500. The loan money is held in a savings account & becomes available as you make payments. The DFCU Credit Builder loan reports to all three major credit bureaus.
3 Credit Cards for No Credit History
1. Chime Credit Builder Visa Secured Credit Card
The Chime Credit Builder Visa Secured Credit Card is a no credit check credit card that can help you build a credit history if you have no credit. Cardholders don’t have to worry about any fees with this credit card. There is no annual fee, no interest charges, no minimum security deposit, and no credit check when you apply.
Here is how to qualify for the Chime Credit Builder Visa Secured Credit Card:
- You must open a Chime Spending Account and set up direct deposit to qualify. You can’t have the Chime Credit Builder Visa Secured Credit Card without a Chime Spending Account.
- Your credit card limit is determined by how much money you choose to move into the credit builder secured account.
- You have the option to manually pay your monthly bill or turn on Chime’s Safer Credit Building feature that will autopay your monthly statement. This keeps you from paying late and not having the money available to pay your bill in full.
- Chime builder credit card reports monthly to the three major credit bureaus.
2. Capital Bank OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is a no credit check secured credit card that requires you to place a minimum $200 FDIC-insured deposit as collateral. That deposit is your credit limit. No one is turned down for this secured card. Secured card users must submit a refundable security deposit as collateral. OpenSky® reports to all 3 major credit bureaus each month.
For people without a bank account, the OpenSky Secured Visa card doesn’t require you to have one. You can pay the security deposit and monthly bills with a money order or a Western Union payment.
3. First Digital Mastercard®
The First Digital Mastercard grants cardholders a credit line of at least $300, with no deposit required. The fees and rates for this unsecured card can be a turnoff. But you don’t have to use it forever. Once your credit score improves, you will qualify for much better credit cards with lower rates. The First Digital Mastercard® reports to all three major credit bureaus every month.
Actions to build a credit score in 6 Months
Always Make Timely Payments
Credit scores are designed to predict if you’ll make payments on time. Payment history makes up 35% of a credit score. That’s why paying creditors on time matters the most to improve a credit score. One late payment can negatively impact a credit score by as much as 100 points.
Reduce credit card debt
The amount of debt you have makes up 30% of a credit score, it is formally referred to as credit utilization. Credit utilization is a measure of the amount of available credit you are using. For example, if your balance is $300 and your credit limit is $1,000, then your credit utilization for that credit card is 30%.
To create a good credit score, the amount you owe must remain low. You want to maintain as much space as possible between your available credit limit and your account balance. Have lots of available credit is a measure of good credit management.
Manage different types of credit accounts
Your overall credit profile should include different types of credit accounts, including credit cards, lines of credit, mortgage, personal or car loans. When you manage different types of credit it helps create a diverse credit portfolio. Managing different types of credits accounts for 10 percent of your credit score.
Minimize Hard Inquiries
You can potentially lose points every time you apply for a new credit card or loan and your credit report is pulled. This is called a hard inquiry. Having your credit report pulled when you apply for credit is almost impossible to avoid but you can avoid too many credit inquiries.
Don’t waste hard inquiries on lots of retail and store credit cards. When building credit, stick to major credit cards like Visa and Mastercard.
Although FICO Scores only consider inquiries from the last 12 months, inquiries remain on your credit report for two years.
Use your credit card responsibly each month
You must use your credit card in order to build a credit score, but you must manage the card responsibly. That means use the card every month for expenses that you would typically pay for with a debit card or cash. And then, be sure to pay this card in full every month.
This type of credit card management will help improve your score because positive activity will be reported every month. Once the statement posts, pay it in full which will be reported to the credit bureaus.
Pay your credit cards twice a month
Using too much of your available credit can kill a credit score. To improve your credit scores maintain a 30 percent or less level of debt. An easy way to put this to practice is to pay your credit cards twice a month. This way, even if you’re using the cards throughout the month, a mid-month payment can pay the card back down to a level that stays below the 30% threshold.