Skip to Main Content

Start Of Main Content

How to build credit or improve a credit score

Zero credit or bad credit isn’t an insurmountable hurdle. Here’s what to do.

On paper, Americans’ credit card use and debt appears to be headed for disaster. Nearly one-third have credit card debt that exceeds emergency savings. Four out of 10 carry credit card debt, and the average total is about $5,700.

For people who may already be struggling with too much debt, a poor credit score may be closer than they think — by leveraging a late bill payment or taking on a new credit card to help bridge a gap. On the other end of the spectrum, people with no credit history may be unsure what to do to build a solid financial foundation that includes a good credit score.

The steps to either building a credit history or improving a credit score aren’t too difficult, but they do take time. To build a credit history, start by regularly and fully paying bills, every month. You may also be able to secure a positive credit history by opting for a secured credit card; this backs up your credit card use with a cash collateral deposit. To improve a credit score, you must also prioritize bills as well as existing debt and limit any additions to your credit — new applications and cards, for example. Learn more with our helpful steps.

State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates) is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, any third party products or the content of any third party sites referenced in this material. State Farm has no discretion to alter, update, or control the content on the third party sites. Any references to such sites are provided for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation to buy or sell any of the products which may be referenced on such third party sites. State Farm does not warrant the merchantability, fitness, or quality of the third party products referenced in this material.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.




844-373-0003

Also Important

Let's Talk Credit Score

Let's Talk Credit Score

Credit doesn’t have to be a mystery. Five factors determine your score. Here’s what you should know about them.

Should I Close My Credit Card After Paying it Off?

Should I Close My Credit Card After Paying it Off?

Closing a credit card to improve your spending habits may not always be the best option. Find tips on how you can keep your credit card active and spend wisely.

Related Articles

Calculate Monthly Payments on a Loan and Line of Credit

Calculate Monthly Payments on a Loan and Line of Credit

This online tool offers insight into the monthly amounts that will be due on your loan.

Tips on how to get the best of balance transfer offers

Tips on how to get the best of balance transfer offers

With low interest rates, balance transfer offers are tempting. Are they a good idea?

Credit Report Monitoring Without Leaving Your Couch

Credit Report Monitoring Without Leaving Your Couch

Online credit monitoring tools can help keep track of your credit report and alert you to changes to help prevent credit fraud and identity theft.