How to Build Credit Without a Credit Card

by Valencia Higuera ; Updated July 27, 2017

Items you will need

  • Bank account
  • Co-signer
  • Loan

Your credit history determines whether you'll qualify for a mortgage loan and what rates you can get. There are several ways to establish a credit history. And in some cases, you can build a strong credit rating without using a credit card.

Step 1

Open a bank account. Credit applicants typically inquire about a bank account, and having a bank account demonstrates your ability to manage finances. Contact a bank or credit union and open a checking or savings account.

Step 2

Apply for an auto loan. Several dealership and auto lenders offer no credit or bad credit auto loans. These are ideal for individuals who want to build credit without a credit card.

Step 3

Consider a small bank loan. Apply for a small bank loan and make timely payments, or pay off the balance within a couple of months. The lender will report this account to the credit bureaus, and this can help you establish a credit rating.

Step 4

Add your name to someone's account. Ask a close relative (with good credit) to add your name to one of their credit accounts. This is a quick ways to build credit without a credit card. Their credit account appears on your report, and you'll establish a rating.

Step 5

Practice good credit habits. Once you've obtained a few credit accounts, building credit involves wise choices. Pay your creditors on time to maintain a high rating. If possible, submit early payments.


  • You'll need collateral and a co-signer to obtain a bank loan with no credit history.


  • No credit and bad credit auto loans typically feature higher interest rates. Adding your name to someone's account is helpful and risky. If they miss a payment or submit a late payment, this can decrease your score.

About the Author

Valencia Higuera is a freelance writer from Chesapeake, Virginia. She has contributed content to print publications and online publications such as, AOL Travel, and ABC Loan Guide. Higuera primarily works as a personal finance, travel and medical writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/journalism from Old Dominion University.