1 | Check your credit report – Credit reports are used to create your credit scores, a three-digit number that lenders typically use to gauge your creditworthiness.
2 | Establish checking and savings accounts – Lenders see bank accounts as signs of stability.
3 | Understand the basics of credit scoring – The important factors: Whether you pay your bills on time. How much of your available credit you actually use. Set up automatic payments so that you’re never, ever late!
4 | Find a cosigner – “Borrow” another’s record.
5 | Get and installment loan – to get the best credit scores, including revolving accounts (credit cards, lines of credit) and installment accounts (auto loans, personal loans, mortgages).
6 | Apply for a secured credit card – Convert to a regular, unsecured credit card after 12 to 18 months of on-time payments.
7 | Get a store card – One or two store cards is enough. These cards don’t do as much for your credit scores as bank card (Visa, MasterCard, etc.), but they’re usually easier to get.