3 Fast and Easy Ways to Build Credit in 2024
Building credit up to a good score can feel like an impossible task, especially when you’re starting from scratch, but thanks to the experts and the awesome things you have access to for free in 2024, there are a few fast and free ways to build credit and make every purchase a win!
Plus! There is a free bonus tip towards the end that will help you build long-term security and financial stability!
Improving your credit score is an obvious goal for many reasons, but why is it important to do so before you transition to solar energy? Solar panels can be costly on the upfront price for most people, which is why solar lending options will be so beneficial for the majority of homeowners in 2024.
There are a lot of lending options to choose from, but no matter where you go, you will be better served with a higher credit score. Whether it’s for a house, a car, or solar energy, a high credit score is essential to living your life with financial freedom.
1. Report Rent & Utility Payments to Increase Credit
Sick of landlords getting all the credit? Well, now you can get credit for paying your rent on time, too! Services like RentTrack and LevelCredit – Now with Self collect your rent payment history and report it to credit bureaus, helping you build your credit history without even breaking a sweat.
You can get rewarded for doing things you’re already doing, like keeping the lights on and avoiding eviction. Win-win!
Pros: Easy to set up and free to use.
Cons: May not be recognized by all lenders.
2. Get a Secured Credit Card and Watch Your Score Increase
Secured credit cards are like training wheels for your credit score.
You deposit a refundable security deposit that becomes your credit limit. Then, you use the card responsibly and make timely monthly payments. Boom! Your credit history starts to grow, and your score starts to climb like a monkey in a jungle gym.
Pros: Easy to qualify for, helps establish credit history, and builds positive payment history.
Cons: Requires a security deposit.
3. Become an Authorized User on Credit Cards with High Scoring People
Ask someone with good credit to add you as an authorized user on their credit card. Their positive payment history will be reflected on your credit report, giving your score a boost without you having to do much of anything.
Just be sure to choose someone you trust who is responsible for their finances and has a credit score that is around or above 750 for the best results. You don’t want to end up with someone else’s bad credit habits rubbing off on you.
Pros: Fast way to boost credit score; no financial commitment required. Typically, it works within about 3–5 months.
Cons: Relies on someone else’s creditworthiness; limited control over the account.
Bonus Tip: Check your credit reports regularly for errors and dispute them if necessary. Keeping your credit reports clean is essential for maintaining a good score.
Remember: Building good credit takes time and effort, but these methods provide a quick start to improving your financial health. So be patient, stay consistent, and soon you’ll be able to say goodbye to credit card debt and hello to financial freedom!
Why should you build your credit score before financing?
Upgrading your credit score makes your qualifications go up, your interest rates (or how much money you’re going to pay on top) go down, and you are given the best psychological and financial advantages the higher your credit score.
How does my credit score affect my psychological advantage? Having a higher credit score will make others instinctively trust you more, as your credit is a reflection of your liability in financial situations. The better your score, the better you look to potential lenders, dealers, brokers, and even potential dating partners. In turn, this also makes them instinctively more likely to work harder for you.
How does having a higher credit score lower my monthly payments? Higher credit scores are a reflection of your credibility in financial obligations; the lower your credit score, the more likely it is that you cannot be trusted to make your payments on time or potentially not at all.
Having a lower credit score typically entails someone who is not able to save very much money. it seems strange that companies would charge someone with less money to their name even higher prices, but from another perspective, it has a familiar look.
Let’s consider what it might look and feel like to you if you had a relative who is always down on their luck and always needed a handout. They’ve been to everyone in the family three times over, and they are now ready to ask you for yet another loan.
At some point, most people, family included, would turn that person away or say to them, “Okay, I will give this to you, but only if you pay me extra.” They might even add in, “I will give you more time to pay me back,” because they already anticipate that this will take longer.
The same mindset is not lost in the world of business and is even more present since they don’t know you personally. If someone is going to give you something and you don’t carry a trustworthy score, either you won’t get it or it’s going to come at an extra cost to you.
Financial Stability, Solar, and Trusts for Homeowners
It is important to understand how money works, and one thing that is going on online is talking about putting your home in a trust to protect yourself and your assets from costing you money in the long run.
Since you came here to learn a little bit more about fixing your credit, let’s knock another related question out of the way.
Should you put your home in a trust before or after you switch to solar? The answer may surprise you.
Should I put my home in a trust before or after I get solar panels?
Whether it’s smarter to put your home into any kind of trust before or after installing solar panels depends on several factors, including your circumstances and goals. Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of each:
Putting your home in a trust BEFORE installing solar panels:
- Protection from creditors: If you put your home in a properly structured trust, it can be protected from creditors in the event of a lawsuit or bankruptcy. This can be especially beneficial if you are considering taking out a loan to finance the solar panels.
- Estate planning: A trust can help you avoid probate, which can save your heirs time and money. This is especially important if you have complex estate planning needs.
- Control over the solar panels: You can specify in the trust who will own and manage the solar panels after your death. This can help ensure that your wishes are carried out.
- Cost and complexity: Setting up a trust can be costly and time-consuming. You will need to consult with an attorney to draft the trust documents and ensure that they comply with all applicable laws.
- Potential tax implications: Putting your home in a trust may have tax implications, both during your lifetime and after your death. You should consult with a tax advisor to understand the potential tax consequences.
- Loss of control: Once you put your home in a trust, you will no longer have the same level of control over it. The trustee will be responsible for managing the property according to the terms of the trust.
Putting your home in a trust AFTER installing solar panels:
- Avoids the cost and complexity of setting up a trust before installing the solar panels.
- No potential tax implications until you put your home in the trust.
- You retain full control over your home and the solar panels until you put them in the trust.
- Less protection from creditors.
- Your heirs may have to go through probate to inherit your home and the solar panels.
- You may have less control over the solar panels after your death if you do not specify your wishes in the trust.
Ultimately, the best decision for you will depend on your circumstances and goals. When it comes to something as financially sensitive as the future of your entire life and lives you, consulting with an attorney and a financial advisor to discuss your options will help you make the best decision for your situation.
Here are some additional factors to consider:
- The value of your home: If your home is worth a significant amount of money, it may be more beneficial to put it in a trust to protect it from creditors and avoid probate.
- Your estate planning needs: If you have complex estate planning needs, a trust can be a helpful tool for ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
- Your age and health: If you are older or have health concerns, you may want to put your home in a trust sooner rather than later. This will ensure that your wishes are carried out even if you become incapacitated.
- The type of solar panels you are installing: Some types of solar panels may be eligible for tax credits and other incentives. You will need to consult with a tax advisor to determine if putting your home in a trust will affect your eligibility for these incentives.