For better or worse, your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your life. Lenders use that score to determine if you’re a good credit risk, if they’ll give you a loan, and how much they’ll charge you for all kinds of loans.
- If you are a renter, add your rental payment history to your credit reports: Numerous studies show that this can give you a nice bump, sometimes 20-points or more, in your credit score. There is, however, a catch: You can’t add this data to your Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion credit reports yourself. You have to use a third-party company to do it because they have to independently verify it with your landlord or property
owner. Fortunately, rentreporters.com does this.
- Try piggybacking: Piggybacking is a technique where you get added onto the credit accounts of someone with a positive credit history. For example, if your spouse or a parent has good credit, you can get added as an authorized user on one or two of their credit cards. This lets you add positive credit history to your own credit files and increases your credit scores.
- Get a secured credit card: Some 20-something millennials have “thin” credit or no credit, or perhaps they and others in their 30s, 40s, or 50s have had credit mistakes in the past, such as late payments, charge-offs, collections, or even a bankruptcy. A lack of a traditional credit history or previous credit blemishes can make it tough to establish or re-establish credit and obtain a good credit score. But one strategy to overcome those problems is to obtain a secured card.