Building Credit From Scratch

Good credit is a powerful key that opens up a ton of doors. As you navigate your future, you’ll rely on your credit score to help you get credit cards, car loans and rent an apartment. One day, you’ll definitely need it for a mortgage.

What is a Credit Score?

Learn how credit scores work, what they mean to creditors as they review your loan and credit card applications, and how you can stay on top of your score.

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Where Does My Credit Score Start Off?

There's a misconception that consumers start at the bottom of the credit ladder and move their way up. There's some truth to this, but it's often more complicated than that. Find out here.

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What is Credit History?

Your credit history takes your past credit behavior, including past loans and history of paying bills on time or late, and is used as one of several tools to calculate your credit score.

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What is a Credit Bureau?

A company that collects the credit information of individuals from credit lenders and typically sells that aggregated information to credit lenders in the form of a credit report.

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Did You Know

The better your credit score, the more likely you are to land great offers for credit cards.


Credit Card Basics

Applying for a credit card can be straightforward. You’ll need a few pieces of basic information handy, like your current address and your social security number. But first, take a minute to figure out which card is best for you.

The process of getting your first credit card is straight-forward and requires just a little bit of research.

What are Interest Charges?

Interest charges are the cost of borrowing money. The interest rate that creditors charge is typically expressed in terms of an Annual Percentage Rate (APR).

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The Basics of Building Credit

More and more students have credit cards these days. This means more people are getting a head start on building credit. As a college student, there are cards specifically designed for you. This is the start of your journey.

The Best Cards to build Up Credit

One of the most effective ways to repair your credit score is to make on-time payments on a credit card. Here's some tips on how to improve your credit score by choosing the right credit cards for bad…

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What is a Credit Limit?

Also known as a credit line, a credit limit is the total amount of money that can be charged to a credit card. Carrying a balance close to your credit limit may affect your credit score, which is why it’s important to know your card limit.

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Managing Your Credit

Build up credit – and then keep going. Making payments on time and spending wisely are two great ways to maintain your progress.

What is a Credit Card Balance?

While a credit card balance seems straightforward, fully understanding what it is can help you make better financial choices when it comes to spending, budgeting and paying down debt.

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What’s a Minimum Payment?

Learn what a credit card minimum payment is, how that amount is determined, and why you need to pay the minimum amount to stay financially fit.

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What’s an Interest Rate, or APR?

Not all credit card offers are designed equally. Before opening your next credit card account, make sure you understand APR for credit cards and how your interest rate could be impacted.

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How to Handle a Missed Payment

While paying your bill late does come with certain repercussions, you can typically avoid long-term damage to your credit score by paying the bill as soon as possible. Act quickly.

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APR is how much the company or bank issuing your credit card can charge you for borrowing money.

Understanding exactly what your credit card balance is and how it’s calculated may help you make better financial choices.


A Credit Card Gets You Perks

Another great reason for having a card is the rewards on offer. Earn cash back, discounts, points and other benefits just for paying for your everyday shopping.

Learn About Rewards

Do you know about Discover's cash back program? These free rewards for eligible Discover cardmembers let you earn cash back from using your Discover card. Here's what you need to know.

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How Does Cash Back Work?

Learn what cash back is, how cash back works on cash back credit cards, and how Discover Cashback Match increases your cash back at the end of your first year.

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With Discover:

Earn 5% cashback on everyday purchases at different places each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.

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Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.