I am in my 30s with no credit. How can I start building a credit history?

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Answered by Stacy Marcus, CDFA™ CFEI™ in New York, NY
Hello, building a good credit score is a tricky - without credit history its hard to qualify for a credit card, and without a card its hard to build credit history. With good money discipline and patience you can work your way up to an excellent credit score. 1- Make sure the credit card you apply for reports to all three credit bureaus.2-Choose a card with no or a low annual fee. You will be paying your balance in full each month so the interest is not as important as if you were going to carry a balance. Don't carry a balance! If you are unable to get approval you can apply for a secured credit card or get a cosigner on an unsecured card. A secured card is backed by a cash deposit generally equal to your credit limit. You will get the deposit back when you close the account. Once you have your card make small necessary purchases you would have otherwise paid by check or cash - like a phone or electric bill. Set aside the full amount of the purchase in your bank account, as if you had spent the money when you authorized the charge. Pay your balance in full every month. To build your score: 1-Make 100% of your payments on time, 2- Keep your credit card debt low. 3-Use your card a few times each month, 4- Keep your account open for as long as possible (unless you qualify to move from a secured to unsecured account.) In your 30s there are lots of financial planning steps you should be taking to achieve your current and future financial goals - saving for retirement, a home, family, business, vacation. Working with a financial advisor ensures you are allowing your financial resources in the best way to achieve all your goals. | 10.12.15 @ 14:04
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$commenter.renderDisplayableName() — {comment} | 12.04.16 @ 08:34
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