How Long Does It Take to Build Credit?

By Gerald Dunigan

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Credit is a scary thing for those who are starting from zero. So, many people wonder how long it takes to build credit. The good news is that it does not take as long as you think, and the earlier you start making efforts, the better. When you are building credit from scratch, you should be careful to keep a clean record in order to build credit fast. The first time you create a negative remark can severely hold you back from a good credit score.

How Long Does It Take to Build Credit

There are multiple reasons why someone could lack a credit score. They may not have had credit cards, loans, or bills in their name before this. Although this is not a bad thing, it is important to start building credit for the future. Establishing credit for the first time is daunting, but we will do our best to make the process easier. There are many tips and tricks that you can use to begin the journey of building a credit score. In this article, we will go over the following items:

  • How long does it take to improve your credit score?
  • How to build credit from scratch?
  • Why it is important to have a good credit score.
  • Habits that you can use to establish a credit history.

How Long Does It Take to Build a Good Credit from Scratch?

If you are wondering how long does it take to establish credit, the answer is, not that long. As soon as you open your first line of credit, you will eventually get a score that is used for additional credit and loan applications. This process will only take a couple of months.

Building good credit from scratch is a different story. Your credit score will take some time to increase. You will need to prove yourself worthy of a good score by actively using credit lines, making payments on time, and avoiding any negative remarks on your credit statement. A good length of credit is important for this to happen and can take a varying amount of time. The more frequently you use your credit lines, the faster your score will begin increasing. Your first credit score is essential, so put in the effort to avoid any incidents.

To build up a good credit history you should start with something easy. Do not take on complicated credit lines when you are not aware of how they work yet. Go at your own pace and figure out how to utilize them to the best of your abilities. Follow the steps for the best way to start building credit that we provide in this article, and you will watch your score begin to grow in no time. Do not let time stand in the way of building credit for the first time. The sooner you start, the faster you will be prepared in the future.

How to Start Building Your Credit Score?

There are so many different ways to start building a good credit score, and there are several tools that are built to help you take your first steps. You can even incorporate your daily activities into building your score! Here are some ways in which you can start building your score today. You definitely do not need to do all of these in order to build your credit. The best thing to do is choose which methods will work best for your current routine. You can pick the ways that integrate into your lifestyle or use a combination of your choice.

Get a credit card

Building your credit with a credit card is arguably one of the easiest ways to start your credit score. This is typically one of the first steps people think to take when they are working on their score. Credit cards are not easy to get accepted once you apply.

Usually, credit card applications should include a credit history from the past so that they already have established trust. However, there are products called secured credit cards that require you to pay a deposit first. After paying a deposit, you can actively use your card up until the amount before a requirement to pay the loan back. This is great for new users who want to begin using a credit card to build credit. The more active your credit utilization, the faster your credit score will start rising! However, be wary of the credit utilization rate that should not be more than 30%.

Become an authorized user on a credit card

The action to build credit with credit cards is not an option for everyone, especially if you are under the age of 18. In this case, consider becoming an authorized user on a credit card.

Being an authorized user basically means that you have an issued credit card with your name on it that stems from the account of the primary cardholder. The latter is typically a parent or trusted family member. They are able to create limits to your card so that they are still in control. This is also one of the fastest ways to build credit for young people. And it is a good way to set yourself up in the future.

Get a secured loan

If you want to know how to build credit without a credit card, consider trying out to get a secured loan. It is a way to receive the loan by having collateral to gain trust from the loaner. This could be a home, a car, or even money in an account such as a CD. This incentivizes the loan to be paid back.

The downside to this method is that loans typically come with some form of interest. This means that you will end up paying back more money than the initial loan that you took out. Only consider this option if you are in need of a loan at the moment.

Earn credit for bills that you pay

Many people do not realize that most of their utility bills are attached to their social security number, and can therefore be attached to their credit score. Most people pay utility bills and it does not affect the score at all. If you are someone who always pays your bills on time, this option can help you. Since you pay these bills every month, you are able to establish a positive payment history, adding onto an existing thin credit file.

Try credit builder loans

Credit builder loans are often unheard of, and many people are not familiar with the concept. These loans are designed for people trying to figure out how to build credit fast, to build credit as a student, or to keep good credit in general.

A credit builder will loan you an amount, but they will only give you the money after you have completed the process of paying them back. This way, they are able to trust you and have collateral if you choose not to complete the payment process. On the other hand, it also provides a way for consumers to earn credit. Think of this as a fake loan. You still build the payment history but without paying an enormous amount in interest.

Try a credit repair company

If you are doubting yourself, why not let the professionals take a go at it. There are many credit repair companies that specialize in helping your credit score grow. These companies work hard in order to give you tips to build your score while also doing their best to remove any negative remarks that already exist on your credit report. Companies like or Lexington Law have services that are ready for your unique needs. They cater to their clients in order to give them the best outcome possible.

Why Is It Important to Have a Good Credit Score?

The importance of a credit score is something that everyone must understand. Young people tend to believe that credit is something that is established later in life. However, as we stated earlier in this article, the sooner you start working on your score, the earlier you can enjoy the benefits that they reap.

Credit scores are not only directly correlated to your future loans, they play a role in many other aspects of your life. When it comes to housing, they not only guarantee you a great mortgage with low-interest rates, but they also affect whether or not landlords will be interested in renting to you as a tenant in comparison to the next person. Speaking of large loans such as mortgages, low-interest rates can save you a ton of money in the long run. Mortgages are sometimes 30 years long. Imagine the interest that will compile over that much time.

Your credit score will also determine your credit limit. Credit card companies will give low limits to those that have lower scores. This means you are not able to purchase a lot on your card before it gets declined. Having a higher score allows for higher limits and more financial freedom. They also play a role in auto loans, student loans, and other needed things earlier in life.

5 Credit Habits You Should Focus On

Credit Habits

Credit is not only important when you are older, but can significantly put you steps ahead of others when you are younger. So, here is what you can do to build good credit.

  1. Make payments on time: Making payments on time is a big habit to focus on. This is a mandatory step to increase your credit score. If you continuously make timely payments, you will begin forming a history of positive credit. Stop paying the minimum amounts on your credit card statements because you will begin to accumulate outstanding debt. Timely payment accounts for the majority of your credit score, so make this habit count.
  2. Keep your credit utilization rate low: When you get your first credit card, make sure you are aware of the credit limit the company has given you. Although that is the maximum amount that you can spend without needing to pay it back, that amount is not what you should be spending in between payments. The trick is to always stay under 30% of your credit limit in order to keep your utilization low. This way, major credit bureaus understand that you are not struggling and don’t need the full credit loan. This ultimately increases your score!
  3. Make frequent payments: This habit goes hand in hand with making payments on time and keeping your credit utilization low. If you make payments on your card on time, that is a great step! However, making more frequent payments can take you one step further. Paying more often allows you to stay on track so that you never forget to make payments when they are due. It also prevents you from using a high percentage of your credit utilization. Remember to keep it low!
  4. Check your credit report often: Mistakes can be found on your credit report at all times, and sometimes you might not even realize this unless you are checking your report often. Some companies may try to complete hard credit inquiries without receiving your consent first. This is a sneaky thing that businesses do thinking that you will never know. As long as you are checking your report often, you will notice them as soon as they show up on the statement. You are then able to contact the credit bureau and dispute the negative remark that you feel is inaccurate. After the remark is taken off of your statement, your credit score should slowly return back to normal.
  5. Apply for new credit lines: Even though you are just starting to build your credit, you will eventually need to take more steps to further increase your score. After you initiate your first line of credit, you are able to start looking into another line of credit. The most common form is an alternative credit card. Once you apply, the company will complete a credit inquiry on your score. This will cause your score to drop, but it will eventually return back to normal in just a couple of months. Do not worry about small drops in your credit due to inquiries. This is normal and will happen whenever applying for cards or loans. The only thing to remember is to apply for new lines with some time in the middle. Allow your score to recover before adding on new credit lines.


Starting the journey of building your credit score is a big step for many people, and you are already in the right mindset if you are reading this article. Getting started is the hardest part, and soon you will be wondering, how long it takes to get an 800 credit score. If you follow the instructions above, you will be on track to increase your credit score to 800 sooner than most! Start your efforts now and you will be surprised to see how easy it is to stay on track. The average credit score after the first six months is already in the 500 plus range. This means, after six months, you only have one way left to go. Start building your credit today!