How can I get credit?

Getting credit in US might be difficult if you don’t already have credit. Even if you don’t want to get credit card it’s going to be expensive to not have any credit. There’s few things you need to start building your credit:

  • Social Security number
  • Bank account
  • Credit card or a loan
  • A lot of patience

Social Security Number

This is how credit bureaus aggregate your information. Without social security number you can’t build credit history so getting it is essental. Even if you are a student with F-1 visa you can get a SSN. All you have to do is find a job on campus and that way you have a reason to apply for a social security number. It’s going to be a limited one that states that you can only work with DHS authorization but that is enough to be able to start building credit.

Bank account

You are going to need a bank account to be able to pay for your credit card bill. I would recommend getting a no fee, no minimum balance one from Bank of America. Do all your banking online or at the ATM and you’ll save a lot in fees.

Credit card

If you’ve gotten a Bank of America checking and savings account I would also try to apply a cash back credit card from them. If you have any income you might get one with low credit limit but that’s a good start. If they turn you down then you need to go and apply for a secured credit card. Bank of America has a secured credit card and Capital One is nother one you can try. For a secured credit card you’ll need to fork some cash that will be your credit limit. I personally started with $300 and Capital One quickly raised it to $400 without any additional deposit. My sister was able to get a credit card from BoA even though she only had a job out of the country. So it’s always worth to try but remember each application results in a hard query in your credit history and it will take 2 years before it drops from there so have patience.


There’s no quick short cut to building credit. You need to have a lot of patience as every time you get new credit your credit score will dip temporarily. It usually takes around 6 months before it bounces back to the level it was especially when you have short history. Once you have a credit card you need to use it but remember your statement balance can never go over 30% of your credit limit and you must pay it in full every month.

Check out my story how I have established good credit.