How to Build Credit Without an Income

The Credit Card Act of 2009 has made it difficult for non-working adults to get their own credit cards as the law limits access to credit to people who have an independent source of income. If you already have a card, no job won’t affect it, but getting a new card or a mortgage could be a lot more difficult. There are ways to get around this, however. 

1. Get a branded card.

Form a positive credit line with a card from a company you shop at a lot. These cards are easier to get than regular credit cards because they have a lower limit, but they still help you build your credit score. 

2. Become an authorized user on your spouse’s account.

Credit card companies can then see if you pay your bill on time and if you regularly keep a low debt-to-credit ratio. 

3. Get a secure credit card.

These cards need an upfront deposit in cash, and you can’t spend more than what you deposited. For example, if you want $2,000 in credit, you have to deposit $2,000. Card companies such as Discover and Capital One offer popular secured card offerings. However, make sure that the card has a low annual fee and that the card company issues reports so you’re building credit. Some cards will even let you convert the card to a regular credit card if you made a number of payments on-time. This can also help your credit rating, however, and help you get a new card later. 

If you already possess a credit card or have a secured credit card, you need to be aware of your credit utilization ratio. The amount of open credit that you use affects your credit score, so make sure that you keep the amount low and pay it off entirely each month. The biggest and most important factor is that paying your bills on time each month as payment history makes up a larger percentage of your credit score.

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