Resources for building & rebuilding credit

Explore some tips and tools you’ll need as you start to build or rebuild your credit.

Credit can be complicated. But you’ve come to the right place—whether you’re building credit from scratch or looking to rebuild. Use the menu below to get started. Each section will take you to articles from Capital One’s Learn and Grow to help you on your journey.

Choose a Section to Get Started

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How to build credit from scratch

Learn different approaches to start building credit from the ground up.

Woman on her cellphone considers applying for a credit card.

5 things to know before getting your first credit card

Before you apply, learn more about responsible credit card ownership.

A woman in a store comparing credit cards.

Credit cards to build credit

Explore cards that could help you build credit with responsible use.

Why is credit important?

Having credit can be an important part of planning for the future. Your credit history is an indication of how you’ve managed debt in the past. But how might credit affect your financial decisions in the future?

Credit Reporting & Scoring 101

Credit-Building FAQs

Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion® are the three major credit reporting agencies. The companies are also referred to as credit bureaus and consumer reporting agencies. They compile credit reports. They’re different from credit-scoring companies, such as FICO® and VantageScore®.

It’s weird to think you might need credit to build credit. True. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t options. Things such as secured credit cards and credit-builder loans might help if you’re trying to establish credit. But only if you use them responsibly.

Credit scores are complicated, but having no credit doesn’t mean your credit score is zero—or that it will be near zero when you start to build credit. There’s a difference between having no credit and having bad credit.

There are no quick fixes or shortcuts when it comes to boosting your credit score. But if you’re using credit responsibly, you’re on the right track. If you want an idea where you stand, you can use a tool like CreditWise from Capital One. It’s free to all—whether you’re a Capital One customer or not. And using it to check your credit won’t hurt your score. So it’s perfect for tracking your progress.

The short answer is no. Building credit takes time. And while there may be trustworthy credit counselors who can help you, beware of credit repair scams and companies that promise to boost your credit overnight.