How to Build Your Credit in 2023

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Young woman holding her first credit card for building credit
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It’s resolutions time, and you’ve probably already got one or more in mind. But are any of them financial?

How about taking steps to avoid paying credit card interest this year so you can bank savings for other goals? Or maybe you’re looking to improve your credit so you get better rates and offers on all kinds of borrowing.

One way to do that is with a secured credit card or a “credit builder” card. These kinds of cards don’t require the kind of rigorous credit checks fancy rewards cards do, and generally have no annual fee. They’re a relatively safe way to climb the credit score ladder, provided you use them responsibly.

Here’s a look at some of the best cards for building credit:

Chime Secured Credit Builder Visa Card

Why we like it: There’s almost no barrier to entry or drawbacks with this card. To get started, you just need to open a Chime checking account, set up direct deposits, and receive a deposit of $200 or more. Unlike most credit cards, there are no interest charges on purchases.

What to know:

Chime Secured Credit Builder Visa Card
Bancorp Bank
  • No credit check required.
  • No interest charges.
  • Credit limit set by you. It’s set based on whatever amount you deposit in the credit builder account.
  • No application fee.
  • Build credit safely.
  • No annual fee.

Petal 1 Visa Credit Card

Why we like it: The Petal 1 Visa Credit Card is great when you have a little bit of credit history or not-so-great credit. It’s designed for building credit but still offers some of the rewards most cardholders expect. You can have a credit limit as low as $300 and as high as $5,000, while earning cash back on many purchases.

What to know:

Petal 1 Visa Credit Card
WebBank
  • No credit check required to determine eligibility.
  • No deposit required.
  • Up to 10% cash back at select merchants.
  • No annual fee.

Note: This card has no foreign transaction fee.

Self Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa Credit Card

Why we like it: The Self Credit Builder card is a good way to build credit without getting in over your head spending and paying back lots of money.

Initially, it’s a small loan in a bank-held Certificate of Deposit that you pay off in three or more monthly installments. Then it becomes a secured credit card with a credit line based on the loan amount.

What to know:

Self Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa Credit Card
SouthState Bank
  • No credit check required.
  • Build payment history with small purchases and payments so you may boost your credit score.
  • Gradually and responsibly increase credit limit as you get comfortable making timely payments.
  • $25 annual fee.

Want to do more? Check out “8 Easy Ways to Build Credit From Scratch.”

Whatever you need in a credit card — whether it’s a balance transfer, reward points, cash back or a low interest rate — you can find it with our credit card search tool. Click here to search for the plastic that best fits your needs.