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Choose Your Better Credit Weapon!

Best Free & Paid Credit Building Plans for Any Budget

THE KNOCKER

"Free entrance to the credit door"


Start-Up Cost: FREE

Ongoing: $0 - *$25/mth

  • *15 to 55 point score boost
  • Bad credit or no credit
  • Results in 45 to 180 days

THE KEY 

"Low-cost keys to open the credit door"


Start-Up Cost: $10 to $40

Ongoing: *$8 - $58/mth

  • *30 to 90 point  score boost
  • Bad credit or no credit
  • Results in 30 to 60 days

THE BRUISER

"Bust open the better credit door!"


Start-Up Cost: $150 to $390

Ongoing: *$25 - $103/mth

  • *50 to 150 point score boost
  • Bad credit or no credit
  • Results in 15 to 60 days

*Results not guaranteed.  Cost estimates are for using the tools of our partners.  Credit Knocks does not charge for this advice.

"I WENT FROM NO CREDIT TO A 710 SCORE!"

- Danielle P., Glendale AZ

THE CREDIT KNOCKER (100% Free)


Open the door to better credit using our top 3 free options below.  Do one or do them all!  If you only have time for one, we recommend you do them in order.

1. The "Borrow-a-Kidney" Strategy

Overview: Ask a friend or family member who has a credit card with solid payment history to add you as an authorized user.  Your credit report will adopt the card's payment history, usually resulting in a quick credit score boost to you.  

Speed:

Credit Score Impact:

Cost:

Key Benefits:

  • Boosts your payment history
  • Improves credit utilization (You adopt card's credit limit)
  • Possible 50 to 100 point increase in 30 days
  • It's Free!!

No family member to add you?


Getting added as a user on a friend or family member's established credit card is preferred (and FREE), but if you don't have anyone with a good payment history, or they won't add you, you can pay to be added as a user to another card here.


2. Open a Fingerhut Account

Overview: Next time you need to make a small purchase that you might make on Amazon, do it at Fingerhut instead.  They'll extend a small line of credit to you, and you can build your credit while you shop for things you need anyway.  Free to sign up.  

Speed:

Credit Score Impact:

Cost:

Key Benefits:

  • Free to open an account
  • Improves your "credit mix"
  • Easy to qualify 

Cost:

No cost to sign up.  Beyond that, your only cost is the money you spend to shop.  If this is money you were going to spend on items you needed anyway, you might justify Fingerhut as a "free" credit building tool.


3. Sign Up for Experian Boost

Overview: Most bills we pay are not reported to the credit bureaus, even if we pay on-time.  Get a "credit boost" at Experian for the regular payments you make every month such as your gas, electric, and phone bill.  

Speed:

Credit Score Impact:

Cost:

Key Benefits:

  • Free to sign up
  • 62% of users increase their Experian score
  • Improve payment history at Experian for on-time payments 

Quick Note: 


Experian Boost does not give you credit for rent payments.  If you'd like to have your rental payments reported to the credit bureaus too, click here for more information.


THE CREDIT KEY 


Need a bigger boost than our free tools?  Choose from the 3 low-cost options to improve your credit below.  Do one or do them all!  If you can only afford one, we recommend you do them in order.

1. Get a Credit Builder Loan from Self Lender

Overview: Build your credit quickly by taking out a loan... from yourself. Simply make a low, monthly payment for 12 to 24 months, and at the end of the term, get nearly 100% of your payments back.  The payments will be reported as loan payments to all 3 credit bureaus.

Speed:

Credit Score Impact:

Cost:

Key Benefits:

  • 45 point average credit score increase 
  • Build your "payment history" and "credit mix"
  • No credit check 

Cost:

As little as $10 to sign up, and $25 per month.  Almost 100% of your payments will be reimbursed at the end of your term (your initial "loan" amount).


2. Sign Up for Rent Reporting

Overview: If you rent and pay on-time, your payments aren't reported to the credit bureaus.  Sign up for Rent Report Team and get "credit" for the regular rental payments you make every month.

Speed:

Credit Score Impact:

Cost:

Key Benefits:

  • Very affordable 
  • Out-of-the-box way to build your credit
  • Improve "payment history" for on-time rental payments 

Cost:


3. Open a Fingerhut Account

Overview: Next time you need to make a small purchase that you might make on Amazon, do it at Fingerhut instead.  They'll extend a small line of credit to you, and you can build your credit while you shop for things you need anyway.  Free to sign up.  

Speed:

Credit Score Impact:

Cost:

Key Benefits:

  • Free to open an account
  • Improves your "credit mix"
  • Easy to qualify 

Cost:

No cost to sign up.  Beyond that, your only cost is the money you spend to shop.  If this is money you were going to spend on items you needed anyway, you might even look at it as a "free" credit building tool.


THE CREDIT BRUISER 


Ready for a serious credit score boost?  Our "bruiser" tools will knock down the credit door.  Choose from the 3 highly effective options to improve your credit below.  Do one or do them all!  If you can only afford one, we recommend you do them in order.

1. Purchase an Established Tradeline

Overview: Want to decrease your credit utilization, improve your payment history, and your age of credit all in one easy step?  Buy your way to be added as an authorized user on a credit card holder's account.  You won't actually get a card or make charges, but your credit report will "inherit" the excellent payment history and credit limit of the card on which you become a user.  Easy.  Brilliant.

Speed:

Credit Score Impact:

Cost:

Key Benefits:

  • Improve your credit up to 100 points in 45 days!
  • You inherit the payment history of established credit card
  • No credit check 

Cost:

You can find established credit cards with an solid payment history and age for $150.  Older accounts with perfect payment histories and high credit limits go for more.


2. Sign Up for a Secured Credit Card

Overview: Secured cards are designed for people with bad credit or no credit.  You make an up-front deposit to the card company.  Then you start making charges and paying your bill like a usual card.  But since it's backed up by your initial deposit, it's 100% safe for the card company, so it's "secured."  But it builds your credit just like a traditional, unsecured card!

Speed:

Credit Score Impact:

Cost:

Key Benefits:

  • Reports to all 3 credit bureaus
  • Improves your payment history
  • Easy to qualify 

Cost:

Most require a minimum deposit of $200 with a max deposit of $3,000, which becomes your credit limit.  If you close your card, that money will be refunded to you.  Most cards also have a low annual fee, such as $35 to $48.  


3. Sign Up for Credit Monitoring

Overview: The single, best investment you could make in your credit building journey is to sign up for credit monitoring with MyFico.  With your credit reports in hand from all 3 bureaus, you'll be armed to dispute late payments, charge offs, inaccuracies, thwart identity theft, and know what areas of your credit score to work on.

Speed:

Credit Score Impact:

Cost:

Key Benefits:

  • Monitor credit report of ALL 3 bureaus
  • Protect against identity theft & inaccurate reporting
  • Know exactly what is hurting your credit so you can fight it 

Cost:

$19.95 per month to monitor 1 bureau.  We recommend the $29.95 per month plan that allows you to monitor all 3 credit bureaus.  Long-term, this is probably the most expensive credit building tool we recommend, but also one of the most important things you can do to monitor and improve your credit.