Hi everyone, I am looking forward to buying my first home in the near future. Recently, I got my first credit card to work on establishing my credit.

Asked by Tamara, Riverview, FL Mon Apr 23, 2012

I've been paying if off early each month. Does anyone have any other good tips for me to establish and build my credit up? All suggestions are appreciated!

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Nancy Koch, Agent, Ruskin, FL
Tue Jun 30, 2015
Hi Tamara,

I hope all has been going well with the credit building! It takes a little time and patience but is well worth it. It was a great start getting a credit card. I see you mentioned that you are paying it off early each month. The card companies like to see established credit being paid, not just balances paid off. I would suggest using the card to buy 2 months worth supplies you would need and be spending money on anyway. (Paper and cleaning products for the home, etc) This way you are not spending extra cash to establish credit. Then each month pay a portion of it and on the second month do it again. You will pay a slight interest fee for the second month, but it will show a continuous balance and a history of paying it. I had my 18 yr old daughter do this with a card that only had a limit of $250 and within a year she was able to buy her own car without a cosigner. Hope this helps.
Let me know if I can help in any other way or if you have more questions, feel free to call or email.
Nancy Koch, Realtor
813-426-4263 nancykoch921@gmail.com
Homeward Real Estate
0 votes
Ethel Washin…, Agent, valrico, FL
Tue May 8, 2012
Tamara there are several ways to bring up your credit score but they all lead back to focus and consistency. It is not just enough to pay the minimum balance on your credit card bill. You have to be aware of the cycle of your credit card. Contact the credit card company and ask them "when is the closing date of the card?", this is the date that they will report your balance to the credit reporting agencies, it is also the date that finance charges are assessed (low balance means low interest). Make sure that on this day your credit card balance is as low as it can possibly be. 50% of your limit or lower would be fantastic. The closing date is usually a few days to a week or so after the payment due date, so be aware of making charges on the card directly after making a payment.

The other thing is to find out what you need. As Wanda Lowe-Merritt mentioned in an earlier response, you should sit down with a mortgage lender and find out where you need to be to qualify for the best loan at the best interest rate. They will tell you what your score needs to be, what type of proof you will need for your current housing payments and how many trade lines you will need.

It sounds like you are off to a great start.

My best to you,

Ethel Washington
Signature Realty Associates
0 votes
Thank you Ethel,
Your suggestions are very much appreciated! I had never before heard of the closing date on a credit card. Thankyou kindly and I wish you a wonderful rest of your summer.
Flag Thu Jun 7, 2012
Keith & Kins…, Agent, Verona, WI
Tue Apr 24, 2012
Hi Tamara, Our blog link below has lots of info about what makes up a credit score and tips for making it stronger. Check it out. Good luck buying your first home! It's a great time to buy.
0 votes
Thank you guys, that blog was VERY helpful. hope you both have a good weekend! Talk to you later.
Flag Wed Apr 25, 2012
Wanda Lowe-M…, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Mon Apr 23, 2012
Hi Tamara, typically lenders want at least 3 trade lines i.e. 3 creditors that are reporting on you. However, there are some lenders who can use alternative credit i.e. cell phone bills, auto insurance, etc. My suggestion is that you find a lender (and I can help) that can provide you what will be required. Great job in securing your first credit card to establish your credit. Keep you balances low as not to exceed 50% of the total credit limit. If I can help you please let me know (404-788-6695). Thanks.
0 votes
Thank you Wanda! Your feedback was very helpful!
Flag Wed Apr 25, 2012
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