Before we jump into “adulting” and the various ways to build excellent credit (and trust me, I got you covered!), I invite you to come take a quick stroll down memory lane with me.
Remember back when you were a kid and opening the mailbox was the most exciting adventure on the planet? The pure thrill of surprise was all-consuming. Because maybe, just maybe, there was a fun magazine, card, or birthday gift in there waiting for you. Even more enthralling than the mailbox, were those reading incentives distributed to each class in grade school. You know the ones with the little sticker card to coincide with how many books or hours you read. For each gold star marked on that card, you were closer and closer to the grand prize of mini pizza vouchers or a toy out of the mysterious prize box guarded safely behind the teacher’s desk.
I can still feel that heart pounding, jump-out-of-my-skin, excitement I would get when that glorious moment finally arrived. When all my diligent, hard work had paid off. And while we may be grownups now with mailboxes lined by bills and paying full price for pizza (even when we’ve done our due diligence and have read every single email in our inbox), there’s still a spark of childlike wonder reserved just for us in…the credit game!
Perhaps that’s why I love it so much. Similar to the gold star standard, credit reports (while less dazzling) have the same ecstatic feeling of accomplishment. With every bill paid on time, balance paid off your credit card, and the appropriate credit utilization ratio used per cycle, your report receives that elusive gold sticker. And finally one day, after all that hard work, you check your credit score to see it has jumped up into the green zone of “good” or maybe even “excellent”. So what’s the adult equivalent of pizza vouchers and prize box selections you ask? Lower interest rates on loans for that new car you’ve been eyeing, better mortgage rates for your dream home, and reward points to use towards travel and other fun things from your card company! Sounds pretty exciting, right? That’s because it is and better yet, it’s all possible with healthy credit.
Being a credit coach, I obviously want to see you reap the rewards of healthy credit and lose the idea that the road to get there has to be boring, stale, or intimidating. In fact, I’ve collected a few of my favorite resources to guide you in the right direction…
- eCredable: This is easily one of my favorite resources and arguably one of the internet’s best kept secrets. This platform makes it so easy for you to boost your credit score by reporting on-time rent and utility payments to major credit bureaus. On-time payments are crucial when it comes to establishing healthy credit history and overall ranking, making eCredable a must-have! Check it out here.
- Grow Credit App: To follow suit with excellent resources that are hidden gems on the internet, let me introduce you to the Grow Credit App. On this app, every purchase counts including the small ones like subscriptions and memberships. This app will directly report such purchases to major credit bureaus. This is a fantastic way to get your credit growth started without a long line of credit history or large financial investments.
- Loan To Yourself: FICO credit scores are different types of credit on your credit report. Oftentimes, people are building credit with just secured credit cards. You can add an installment loan to your credit report. I found a lender that does this and it works differently from a typical loan. Rather than borrowing money up front, you make fixed monthly payments into a savings account for a specific period of time. The bank reports your payments to the credit bureaus, allowing you to build a new installment loan. At the end of the loan term, you can access the money in the savings account so I feel it is a win, win.
- See, being an adult isn’t so bad right? Treating daunting credit like a game definitely helps to build the fun and excitement in order to reach your big financial goals. And while the stakes are higher than an elementary reading log, so are the rewards! Tapping into expert credit mentors and invaluable resources, such as the ones shared here, is a guaranteed way to ensure your success. Happy credit building!