I'm New to Credit
Building credit is an important part of your financial life, so we've assembled some tips and resources to help you get started.
I'm Rebuilding Credit
As your financial partner, we understand that rebuilding credit is easier if you know where to start and have a plan to follow. Our tools and resources can help guide you.
I'm Managing Credit
It’s easy to monitor, manage and help control your credit score with our free credit dashboard, CredControl.1
A secured credit card is a great way to get started. It works like any other credit card, but it’s guaranteed by a cash deposit. And, with some cards, you can even earn rewards.
If you plan to begin with a different type of credit like an auto loan, and aren’t sure you’d qualify on your own, having a co-signer could improve your chances of qualifying.
Make Smart Credit Decisions
The number-one thing you can do to build good credit is to make payments on time, as late payments will lower your credit score. Create a budget to make sure you have enough money to pay your expenses each month, and use reminders or other tools to keep you on track. Some easy ways to make sure you aren’t late include using calendar reminders and tools like automatic bill pay and money transfers.
You’ll want to keep your balances low and manageable, so avoid using all your available credit and, when possible, pay more than the minimum payment each month. That way, you’ll pay less interest and pay off your debt sooner.
Create a Budget & Pay Down Debt
We know your goal is to get back on track, but the first step is to check your budget. Are there things you can adjust? Then, push to make on-time payments for at least the minimum (but ideally more) on all your loans. Use automatic bill pay to ensure you never miss a payment.
One strategy to reduce debt is the “avalanche method.” You focus on paying off the loan with the highest interest, while continuing to make at least the minimum payments on your other debts. Once the higher-interest loan is paid off, add that payment amount on the next highest-interest debt and so on until you’ve paid off each debt. If you need help, consider our free confidential personal finance counseling, available at 1-888-503-7106.
Build Good Credit
Lenders evaluate a variety of factors to determine your creditworthiness. Some of the factors that affect your credit most are:
- how much you owe in total
- your payment history
- how long ago you established credit
- how much of your current credit is new
- the types of credit you use
Consider using products that will help you build good credit. A secured credit card helps you build credit while earning rewards.
Take Control of Your Credit With CredControl
CredControl is a free dashboard from Navy Federal Credit Union where you can easily monitor, manage and help control your credit score.
- Monitor Your Credit Score
Get weekly score updates without impact to your score.
- Use the Score Simulator
See how certain actions (like adding or paying down debt) could affect your score.
- Get Credit Score Alerts
Sign up for alerts to notify you of score changes.
- Reach Your Goals
Set a goal and work toward your desired credit score.
The credit score and report you will receive through Mission: Credit Confidence Dashboard is a TransUnion® credit report with a TransUnion® Vantage 3 Score.↵
FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the United States and other countries.