Yes, you can have a credit score without having a credit card. Often, car loans, student loans, as well as rent and utility payments can help to build up a credit score without a credit card.
In fact, you can even have an excellent credit score without a credit card. This is because any credit product, such as a loan, that gets reported to the credit bureaus in your name can help towards building up your credit score.
How Can I Build Up a Credit Score Without a Credit Card?
There are a number of alternative routes you can go down to build up a credit score without a credit credit. The following list includes:
- Rent reporting
Paying your rent on time is an excellent way to prove that you are financially responsible. Most landlords do not report payments if they are paid on time.
There are a number of rent-reporting services that can be accessed online so that these payments can be added to your credit report. It is important to only do this if you make the regular payments on time.
- Student loan payments
Again, student loan repayments feature on credit reports. Frequent payments can help you to build up your credit score, as well as prove that you have a sustainable annual income.
- Car loan payments
Typically, it can be quite easy to qualify for car loans without a strong credit score. This is because the lender has collateral, in the form of a car, that they can simply take back from the borrower if payments are not made.
However, it is important to note that you should not really apply for a car loan without a strong credit score as you may end up being charged very high interest rates.
- Credit-builder loans
Credit-builder loans are a great way to help people prove a track record of managing credit.
They operate similarly to traditional loans, but in reverse. The money that you borrow goes into a savings account and it cannot be accessed until the loan is repaid in full.
It is important to make sure that your chosen credit-builder loan lender reports this information to the credit bureau.
How Long Can it Take to Get a Credit Score?
In the US, most credit scoring systems will be able to generate credit scores within a three to six month period.
It is best to assume that it may take up to six months of account history before any credit scores can be calculated.
What are the Best Practises for Building Up a Credit Score Without a Credit Card?
- Paying bills on time
It is likely that any payments, such as bills, that are paid over 30 days late will be reported to the credit bureaus. These late payments can consequently damage credit scores.
- Getting rent payments reported
If you are renting a property and make regular payments on time then it is definitely worth reporting your rent payments. This helps to prove financial stability and responsibility which can in turn help you to build up a strong credit score without a credit card.
- Check credit reports annually
There are a number of free soft credit check services online. These services can help you to cross-reference your credit report to spot any inaccuracies that could be affecting your credit score.
It is worth always keeping track of your financial documents and statements, as these can be used as supporting evidence to help to get the inaccurate information removed or updated as necessary.