How to Build Credit Without a Credit Card

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.