4 Ways to Build Credit If You Have Poor or No Credit

In the United States, your credit score is everything. It can impact what credit cards you can apply for, what homes you’re approved for, what cars you can get, what apartments you can rent, and much more. That means if you have no credit or bad credit, you may have a harder time functioning in general society. Here are four of the ways you can best utilize the best credit card for poor credit or no credit.

1. Sign Up for a Secured Credit Card

A secured credit card may be much easier for you to get approved for if you have bad credit or no credit. With a secured credit card, you give the credit card company a certain amount of money, which they use to establish your credit line. A credit card company may be more likely to offer you a secured credit card than an unsecured credit card, as they have an easy way to get their money back if you end up falling behind on your payments.

2. Look Into Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers

Pre-approved credit card offers are very common for people of all credit scores. If you can get a pre-approved credit card offer, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll be rejected when you apply. Because extra hard inquiries on your credit score can lower your score for the next 12 months, a pre-approved credit card offer makes it easy to get a credit card without having to worry about those inquiries.

3. See If You Can Add Yourself as an Authorized User to Someone Else’s Card

Most credit cards allow you to add multiple authorized users. These authorized users get a card in their name, which they can use just like the main cardholder, and in most cases, the credit card company reports information on the account to the credit bureaus for all authorized users. That means you can end up improving your credit score just by being an authorized user for an account where the main cardholder is careful with their money.

4. Avoid Applying for Too Many Cards Within a 12-Month Window

Every time you apply for a credit card, they’ll typically have to do a “hard inquiry” on your credit report to check for important elements of the report. However, that hard inquiry will usually reduce your credit score by a few points every time. If you apply for a number of credit cards within a 12-month window, you could end up with a significantly lower credit score than when you first started.


Building credit can seem complex, but if you know how to do it, it’s easier than it might seem. Your best bet will typically be to find a credit card that you’re sure you can get approved for, then get that card, at least until you can improve your credit score enough to get approved for a card that you really like. This can help you build your credit from the beginning.