How to Establish Credit Later in Life

If you’re in the season of your life where you should be focused on retirement, but you’ve never built your credit to a place where you can truly enjoy your time, start here.

If you are a late bloomer and have not established your credit, there is still plenty you can do to get your credit score on the rise. Credit will always take time to build, but with a little bit of effort and some responsibility, you can earn a credit score you can be proud of. Without credit, a lot of major purchases can become unattainable and ultimately out of your reach.

Start Small

By starting with small loans or low credit limit credit cards, you will have an opportunity to prove your creditworthiness. If you have had little to no credit in your life, these small offers will be the best you can get to start.

Having little to no credit history will not bar you from a credit card, but may limit you to a secured card. This credit card asks you to give the credit card company the full amount of the credit limit as a deposit to "secure" the credit line.

Either way you go, within the first year of paying the credit card in full each month, you will earn a strong start to establishing your credit.

Build With Purpose

Once you've started to establish your credit, you want the next steps to be about building the limits.

Just make sure that you are not ever ahead of your earnings. Low payments on multiple credit cards could mean a lot of money out of your account each month. Be very purposeful to pay something off before moving to the next purchase.

With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility

No matter your age, you can build credit effectively and quickly with our tips. As your creditworthiness grows, you'll receive more offers of larger and larger credit balances. This is where your responsibility truly kicks in and you find the balance that maintains a good credit score and allows you to purchase the things you need.

Don't let your age dictate whether you should get started with establishing your credit. Luckily, the credit bureaus will not judge your creditworthiness based on when you start building your credit. Start small and build with purpose and you can establish a score anyone would be proud of.

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Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.