A person sitting on chair, looking at a screen. The screen shows a list of ways to build credit without a credit card, including getting a credit builder loan, secured credit card
Top 8 legit ways to build credit without a credit card

Top 8 Legit Ways To Build Credit Without a Credit Card in 2023

Being a credit cardholder is good to build credit. What are the options if you do not have a credit card or you do not qualify for one? No need to worry. There are many ways to build credit without a credit card. In this article, we are going to discuss the top 8 legit ways to build credit even if you do not have any kind of credit card.


Having good credit is one of the most elementary deciding factors of a good financial profile. Still, many people are either ignorant or unaware of the importance of having good credit.

According to a report by the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, 26 million American consumers have no credit history. They are popularly known as credit invisible.

It is not that they do not need credit. In most cases, credit-building tools are inaccessible to them. I mean often they fail to qualify for a credit card.

First, let's look at why one should look to build credit without a credit card. Is it really possible?

Why do you need to build credit without a credit card?

We all are aware that credit card is the most effective way to build credit. But having a credit card is not always financially possible for everyone.

Moreover, for a beginner who does not know much about credit cards, the cost of bearing the same can appear as a shocker.

Holding a credit card may often invite a lot of costs like annual maintenance fees, transaction costs, late payment costs, interest rates on the outstanding balance, over-limit fees, etc.

Additionally, many people do not qualify for a credit card due to many reasons such as poor credit history, insufficient and unstable income stream etc.

Therefore, whoever wants to start their financial journey by making an effort to build credit without a credit card, this article can be your one-stop guide.

Is it possible to build credit without a credit card?

Yes, it is possible to build credit without a credit card. There are many ways to build credit without a credit card including a credit builder loan, taking a personal loan, getting a co-signer, paying your bills on time, signing up for Experian Boost, etc.

Can you build credit with a debit card?

There are two indirect ways to build credit without a credit card.

1. You can go for a secured credit card, which functions more like a debit card. It gives you credit against your advance cash deposit.

2. You check online whether any rent-reporting services or utility payment-reporting services offer to connect your debit card as your payment method.

Is there a way to build credit before 18?

If you are under 18, you can hardly build credit on your own. However, applying for a student loan with your parent as a co-signer may be a great start. You can also try to become an authorized user on your parent's credit line.

Top 8 legit ways for you to build credit without a credit card

If you look at the formation of your FICO score, you will find that your payment history and length of credit history together account for 45% of your credit score.

Now, if you can increase the payment history, the length of your credit history will also increase. And as we know, a credit card is not the only option to make a payment.

What we just need to do is to make that our recurring payments like utility bills, loan installments, and rent payments get reported to the credit bureaus. To do this we do not need any credit cards.

Let's look at the top 8 legit ways to build credit without a credit card.

1. Credit-builder loan

If you are looking for a genuine way to build credit without a credit card, a credit builder loan can be a great deal for you. It will surely help you to build and improve your credit score efficiently.

A credit builder loan is generally provided by community banks or credit unions.

Before applying for it, make sure you have a fixed income to pay your monthly installment. It is advisable to check the terms and rates of your loan with different lending institutions.

But, there is a difference between a credit builder loan and a normal loan.

In the case of a normal loan, you apply for it and get it in your bank account immediately after getting approval. You are required to pay off your loan in monthly installments.

Whereas, after getting a credit builder loan amount, you can not put it to your personal use immediately.

The borrowed amount will be divided into monthly installments. After you completely paid off your loan, you can access the loan amount.

A credit builder loan is generally useful when you don't have a significant credit history or justifiable payment history to fetch you a loan with good terms and conditions.

It's very important to make regular monthly payments when you are on a credit builder loan.

Your credit-providing companies are bound to report your payment activities to the major credit bureaus.

If you are disciplined regarding your scheduled payment, your credit score will definitely get a major boost.

2. Try for a personal loan

Having an improved credit score is very important to keep your finance on track in the long run. But fetching a credit card and bearing its regular maintenance is not always financially feasible.

Therefore, applying for a personal loan can come to your help to build credit without a credit card. Before applying for it you need to check a few things such as

  • I would suggest you go for a personal loan if you have a real need for it. If you looking for ways solely to build credit for your future, there are other great options than a personal loan, which generally comes with a comparatively higher APR.
  • You should also consider whether you have a fixed income or not. Because without a fixed income, it can be difficult for you to make all the monthly installment payments on time. If you miss even one or two monthly installments, it can severely damage your credit score.
  • Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is an important check factor you need to look at before applying for a personal loan. An ideal DTI ratio is generally less than or equal to 30%.

Making loan payments in case of personal loan is of paramount importance.

If you successfully take and repay your personal loan, it sends a positive signal to credit bureaus about your creditworthiness.

It longers your credit history and depicts you as a responsible borrower, thereby ultimately improving your credit score.

3. Get a secured credit card

You may be wondering why I am talking about a credit card, while you are here to improve your credit without a credit card.

Well, a secured credit card is not a typical credit card. It is more like a debit card. A secured credit card requires you to deposit cash in advance. It is kind of a loan against your deposit.

For example, a cash deposit of $200 will provide you with a credit line of $200. However, if you default on your credit payment, the lender can take the deposit amount. Your deposited cash works as collateral for your loan.

If you are a borrower with no credit history, a secured credit card can come to your rescue. Your regular payments will be reported to credit bureaus and it will help you to build impressive credit.

However, I would suggest you keep your credit utilization less than or equal to 10% in case of a secured credit card, if you want to notice a significant improvement in your credit.

Must Read:  51 Truth FAQs On Credit Card Debt Forgiveness

4. Get a co-signer

Credit card is the primary source of information for credit bureaus to determine your credit. If you don't have a credit card or you don't have any significant trustable credit history, getting a co-signer can be of good help to you.

Co-signer is a kind of guarantor in case of your loan. If you default on your loan, the co-signer will also be responsible for your due loan payment.

But make sure that your co-signer has a good credit score and a long trusted credit history. That will help the lender to approve your loan more easily.

Once you get your loan in your bank account, spend the amount wisely. If you forget to pay your easy monthly loan installment, it will not only affect your credit but also impact the credit score of your co-signer negatively.

I would suggest you bring a family member with a stable income as your co-signer because they will be willing to understand and help you more than an outsider.

Moreover, if your co-signer is a government employee, you can get additional benefits because they are more reliable to lenders to dispatch a loan on easy terms.

5. Become an authorized user

This is one of the easiest ways to build credit without a credit card. Many credit card companies offer this feature to their cardholders to add a third person as an authorized card user.

If you become an authorized user, you will get access to the cardholder's credit line without being primarily responsible for the spending you make on the card purchases.

Thus, without having a credit card on your own, the payment activities on that card will be reported to major credit bureaus and added to your credit profile gradually. This can give you a major boost to build credit without a credit card.

But here is an important thing to remember before you become an authorized user. Choose a cardholder with a good credit history because if the primary cardholder default on payment, it will hamper your effort to build credit without a credit card.

6. Report your rent payments

When you are looking to build credit without a credit card, it is important to build credit for every outward payment you make on time.

We all pay monthly rent to our landlord. If you are making a payment every month, it should reflect in your credit score. But generally, your rent payments do not impose a positive impact on your credit.

Most of the time, either your landlords do not report your payments to credit bureaus or they are not aware of rent reporting.

Therefore, it is very much essential for you to get enrolled in rent reporting services like Experian Rent Reporting.

Here, we have mentioned various rent reporting services with unique features, that can help you to choose according to your needs

ServiceUnique FeaturesCost
Experian RentBureauReports to all three major credit bureaus.Free for landlords, $7.99 per month for renters.
RentTrackReports to all three major credit bureaus.$9.99 per month for renters.
CozyReports to Experian and TransUnion.Free for landlords, $5.99 per month for renters.
ProperlyReports to Experian and TransUnion.Free for landlords, $5.95 per month for renters.
PayYourRentReports to all three major credit bureaus.Free for landlords, $10.99 per month for renters.
CreditMyRentReports to Experian and TransUnion.$12.99 per month for renters.
LevelCreditReports to all three major credit bureaus, and also reports utility payments.$6.95 per month for renters.
BoomReports to all three major credit bureaus.Free for renters, but landlord must be enrolled.
Data may be different on a real-time basis. Check on your own before making any decisions

7. Sign-up For Experian Boost

Experian Boost is a super feature that permits you to add your general payment history to add on your credit profile so that it can give a major boost in your effort to build credit without a credit card.

Mobile bills, internet bills, subscriptions to streaming platforms like Netflix, gas and electricity bills, rent payments, and various utility bills are considered for Experian boost services.

All you have to do is to link your debit card or bank account, which you are going to use for regular utility bills payment, to your Experian account.

Make sure that you are regular to make payments on time. All of your payments will be reported to Experian, thereby building free credit, which lenders can consider while approving a loan for you.

8. Pay off your existing debt

If you are looking to build credit without a credit card, start off by becoming debt-free. If you are burdened with debt, it's time for you to pay off your existing debt.

Going for debt consolidation may be of great help for you to reduce all of your different unsecured debt payments by combining them into a single monthly payment with easier terms.

Moreover, if you fail the debt payment, it seriously damages your credit. Successfully managing your debt sends a signal to the credit bureaus that you are serious about your finances.

Paying off your debt keeps your credit utilization low, which is an important criterion for building credit without a credit card.

To Conclude

In this article, we have discussed various legit ways to build credit without a credit card. You can apply those methods according to your own convenience.

Moreover, being financially disciplined about all of your recurring payments, credit utilization, and maintaining a good DTI ratio is the foundation of a healthy credit profile.


  1. X22sed

    Hey people!!!!!
    Good mood and good luck to everyone!!!!!

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