Q:

How long does it take to build credit?

A:

Quick Answer

A person can begin to build credit within 30 days of making a scheduled debt payment. Establishing a strong credit history, however, requires years of making regularly scheduled payments to lenders. If a lender reports payments to the credit bureaus, this payment history is used to generate a person’s credit score.

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Full Answer

Building credit when a person has no credit history is difficult. An individual begins by taking advantage of another person’s credit history. The credit history of a co-signer is considered when a joint application for credit is made, and the new account is reported on the credit files of both parties. A personal loan with a bank or credit union is a quick and relatively easy way to establish credit. If a person has maintained an account in good standing with his financial institution, he may be able to procure a small unsecured loan that is reported to the credit bureaus, or he might apply for a secured credit card. These cards are fairly easy to qualify for because money is deposited as security prior to the use of the card. Because considerable time and effort are involved in building credit history, credit reports should be monitored on a regular basis for accuracy.

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