You need to build credit. However, if you pay a cell phone bill or ultility bills - you have some credit. The easiest way for you to build credit is to apply for a credit card. However, catch 22, sometimes you can't get one until you have good credit.
You can try to apply for a mastercard or visa at your bank and see what happens. If they turn you down, you can try to apply at a store and see what happens. If you get one of these, however, the important thing is not to carry over a 50% balance each month and not to charge more than 30% of your credit limit at any time. And, of course, never be late on a payment.
If you can't get one of those, there are a couple things you can try. Some banks offer what is called prepaid credit cards to help build credit. 5/3 bank does it and some others. You give them $500 and they let you charge up to $350 at a time. When you get your statement each month, pay off the entire amount. That will help credit.
Another thing you can do is get a secured loan from Harris Bank. It is like a savings account, but you put money in each month and they report it, but you can't take the money out until the specified time.
You can also look at www.YourIllinoisHome.com for info.