As one woman explained, “I’m planning to be married. My future husband and I want to buy a house and perhaps a new car. I have a great credit background and pay my bills fully. But my fiance has a limited credit history, and has been rejected several times when he’s applied for major credit cards and charge cards from national retail stores. How can he build a credit history when he is constantly denied credit?”
Tell him to start small, and build his credit history slowly. Unfortunately, in this economic climate, it will be even more difficult than it would have been a few years ago. So be patient.
- Open a savings and checking account. Be careful not to overdraw your account.
- Register for utility services in your own name. If you pay on time, it will demonstrate your creditworthiness.
- Apply for a credit card from a local or regional retail chain. Your odds of approval are greater at a smaller store than at a major department store.
- Ask someone to co-sign an account with you. Make sure they understand they’re responsible for the bill if you fail to pay it.
- Consider a secured credit card, which requires you to open and maintain a savings account as security for your line of credit. Your credit line is a percentage of your deposit, usually from 50 percent to 100 percent.
- Just be sure to ask whether the card issuer reports to a credit bureau. If not, the card won’t help you build a credit history.
- It’s also important to ask about application, setup, acceptance or processing fees.
Some secured cards are expensive. Your best bet is to check with a bank close to home. They often offer better secured card deals than ones you see advertised from out-of-state institutions.