Paul Makepeace ;-)

How to build a credit score

Unfortunately, "no history" can be worse than bad history.

Here are some notes from a conversation with a Chase loan officer. It's intended to be a no-fluff quick overview from the perspective of someone entering the US credit system with "no history."

It's a game

Overall the goal is to collect points by demonstrating the ongoing ability to consistently pay off a number of loans on time over an extended period. That's how you win the credit history game.

Game tips

Final thoughts

A credit card is a means to build credit history not as a way of being able to spend more than you have (tempting though that might be).

If you get a late fee or some other random charge, call up your credit card company and, while being very charming and polite, ask them to waive it. In my experience they've always done it.

Have fun! ;-)

Update 2012-11-14

Nine months after entering the credit system and following the above method I was pre-qualified for a loan through Chase. A couple of months later I closed on my first house.