How to Establish Credit Later in Life

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

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.

The First Latitude Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
Build credit no deposit/annual
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See terms*
See terms*
Recommended Credit:
Bad and No Credit
  • No Annual Fee! Build up your credit with responsible card use.
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards Are Accepted!
  • Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 -- $2,000 Submitted with Application
  • 24/7 Online Access to Your Account
  • Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI
  • * See Card Terms.

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.

Capital One Secured Mastercard
Refundable deposit build credit
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Recommended Credit:
Bad Credit
  • Great for building credit - Reports regularly to the 3 major credit bureaus. 
  • Increase your credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time.
  • Refundable deposit required, $49, $99 or $200 based on your creditworthiness.
  • A deposit of $49 gets you an initial credit line of $200. Larger deposits additional get a higher credit line.
  • Pick your own payment method (check, online or at a local branch) and monthly due date.

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.