Do I Need to Pay Interest and Fees to Build Good Credit?

Reviewed: February 22, 2014
By FinanceWeb

Those without credit often stumble upon a difficult oxymoron. They have no credit; therefore they can’t qualify for a credit card. However, without a credit card they can’t build credit. This can actually happen to folks who have been debt free for a lengthy period of time, as well as those who’ve never had credit at all. So how does one build credit if they can’t qualify for credit accounts? Is there any way to raise a credit score without paying enormous interest rates and fees?

Low Interest, Low Fee Ways to Build Credit

Well, the answers to the above questions aren’t cut and dry. It is possible to build credit – a little – without paying interest or fees. However, it will likely take the sacrifice of some interest payments to build credit to a high level. That isn’t to say that a person seeking to improve their credit must pay incredible amounts of money to do so. Quite to the contrary, building credit can be relatively inexpensive.

A Secured Credit Card

Even if you don’t have credit, you may still qualify for a credit card if you have an established banking account. Your bank will have insight into how you handle your finances. If you do a decent job of it, there’s a good chance you may qualify for a secured credit card through your banking institution.

Same-as-Cash Arrangements

 

Often, stores will run specials where you can purchase an item on credit, and if you pay it off within a certain amount of time, there are no interest fees. This type of opportunity can help raise your score as long as you pay off the purchase before time is out.

A Store Credit Account

Getting a store credit card is typically mush easier than getting an unsecured credit card. Make small purchases with your card and pay off the whole card balance before interest is added. The key here is not to charge more than you can afford to pay off at any given time.

Eliminate Monthly Balance

Regardless of the type of card you have, pay off your balance monthly. Doing so demonstrates that you pay bills responsibly and that you live within your means.

It is possible to raise your credit score without paying a ton of cash in fees and interest. However, there usually is at least some of your extra cash required. As long as you stay on top of them, secured credit cards, store credit accounts and same-as-cash deals can raise your credit score. Also, paying off your credit card’s balance monthly will boost your credit rating tremendously.