The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Sunday, December 8, 2019

2019 Guide: “What Credit Score Is Needed to Get a Credit Card?”

2019 Guide: “What Credit Score Is Needed to Get a Credit Card?”

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Updated: June 11, 2019

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Perhaps one of the most confusing aspects of consumer credit is that everything is pretty much a case of “your mileage may vary.” Even if two consumers with similar credit profiles and income levels apply for the same credit card, each applicant could receive a different response.

In the end, getting a credit card will depend on all of your qualifications — not just your credit score. That said, most cards target a specific range of credit scores, and while these ranges aren’t set in stone, they can be a good way to narrow down your options.

As with any credit product, of course, the better your credit, the better your chances of being approved for any given credit card. Both common credit scoring models — FICO Score 8 and VantageScore 3.0 — operate on a range from 300 up to 850, with 850 being the best possible credit score.

Scores: 800+ | 740-799 | 670-739 | 580-669 | Below 580 | No Credit Score

Cards for People with Credit Scores of 800 and Up

Consumers with credit scores in the 800 to 850 range have made it to the top of the credit score food chain. These consumers typically have several years worth of positive payment history across multiple accounts, low utilization rates, and diverse credit profiles that show they can responsibly handle any kind of credit.

With an excellent credit score, you’ll likely have your pick of nearly any credit card on the market — excluding the fancy invite-only cards — and you’ll usually be offered the lowest interest rates and the highest credit limits. Indeed, with a credit score of 800 or higher, your biggest problem will be deciding which card to get from the hundreds of options.

EXCELLENT CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.49% - 24.74% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

EXCELLENT CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.49% - 25.49% Variable
$450
Good/Excellent

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.49% - 25.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

With so many options open to you, it’s important to take the time to determine what you really want out of a new credit card. If you don’t eat out very often, then a dining rewards card may not be the best fit. Excellent credit means you have tons of options, so take the time to find the card that really works best for your lifestyle and spending habits.

Cards for People with Credit Scores of 740 to 799

While not at the front of the pack, consumers with credit scores between 740 and 799 are still doing quite well in the credit game. These consumers have at least a couple of years of credit history, no missed debt payments (for at least the last few years), low credit card balances, and multiple accounts showing responsible use.

Even though your 740 to 799 credit score can still increase over time, you don’t really need to worry about your credit scores being the thing that holds you back from most credit cards. Everything from top-tier travel rewards cards to fee-free cash back cards are available with a credit score in your range.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

EXCELLENT CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

EXCELLENT CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

EXCELLENT CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

Your credit score may not stop you from being approved, but you should also keep in mind that credit card issuers take more than your credit scores into consideration when evaluating your application. Everything from how many new cards you’ve opened in the last few years to your previous history with the bank can impact your ability to get approved for a new credit card.

Cards for People with Credit Scores of 670 to 739

The average FICO credit score in the U.S. is 704, which falls roughly in the middle of the “Good” credit score range. These consumers have generally positive credit histories with no recent missed payments. They may have short or limited credit histories and/or have higher-than-average credit utilization that prevents them from reaching the next credit score range.

If your credit scores are between 670 and 739, you are generally considered to have good or average credit. You’ll typically qualify for most prime credit cards, including the majority of no-annual-fee rewards cards and even some of the top-tier cards, depending on your specific credit profile.

GOOD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.49% - 25.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

GOOD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

GOOD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.74% - 25.74% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.74% - 25.74% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • No foreign transaction fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

If you think you’re on the approval fence for a certain card, you can often check for pre-qualification through the issuer’s website. Pre-qualifying for a card doesn’t guarantee you’ll get approved — it doesn’t usually take into account things like 5/24 limits or income — but not being pre-approved may mean you should try another card.

Cards for People with Credit Scores of 580 to 669

Although it’s certainly possible to reach a perfect credit score, none of us start out that way. Instead, many of us will spend at least some of our credit-building time in the 580 to 669 range due to limited credit. And, unfortunately, some of us will also wind up back in that range due to delinquent payments, defaulted accounts, and/or high credit balances.

With credit scores in the 580 to 669 range, most issuers aren’t going to be as quick to trust you with their top cards. Instead, you’ll be looking mostly at cards that either charge you for perks and rewards, or issuers that don’t charge you because there aren’t any perks or rewards.

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$39
Average, Fair, Limited
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability
  • Qualified applicants will receive a card with a competitive APR and no annual fee along with 1% cash back rewards on all purchases, terms apply
  • View updates to your Experian credit score with free online access, terms apply
  • Make paying your bill easier with the ability to choose your payment due date, terms apply
  • Access your account on-the-go with the Credit One Bank mobile app
  • Never miss an account update with customizable text and email alerts
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.74%-25.74% Variable
$0 - $99
Fair

The choice between a card with rewards that charges an annual fee, and a card with no rewards but no fee, will generally come down to the math and your personal spending habits. Basically, if you’ll spend enough on the rewards card to earn more than the annual fee, then it could be a good value. However, if you won’t earn enough in cash back or points to at least cover the annual fee, it may be the wrong pick.

Cards for People with Credit Scores Below 580

The bottom of the credit score totem pole, scores below 580 represent individuals with the highest levels of credit risk. These consumers tend to have recent delinquent payments, defaulted accounts, and high credit utilization rates that make them a risky investment for lenders and credit card issuers.

When your credit score drops below the 580 mark, your options start to narrow down dramatically. For the most part, you’ll have the choice of expensive subprime unsecured credit cards with high fees, or secured credit cards that require a refundable cash deposit to open and maintain.

SECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad
Discover it® Secured Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
10.99% for 6 months
24.49% Variable
$0
New/Rebuilding
Milestone® Mastercard® - Less Than Perfect Credit Considered Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

3.9/5.0
  • Prequalify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • Mobile account access at any time
  • Protection from fraud if your card is stolen
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • *Dependent on credit worthiness
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.9%
$35 - $99
Bad, Poor Credit

Although it can seem like the lesser evil to pay a few fees for an unsecured credit card, secured cards can be the much more affordable choice in the long run. This is thanks to the fact that secured card deposits are fully refundable (so long as you close your account in good standing), and secured cards tend to charge much lower rates and fees and/or offer perks like purchase rewards.

Cards for People with No Credit Score

Everyone has to start building credit somewhere — and credit card issuers want to be that “somewhere.” In other words, you don’t actually need an existing credit score to get a credit card when you’re careful about which card you select. In fact, when chosen and used wisely, credit cards can be one of the most affordable ways to establish and build your credit score.

If you’re a student and need to build credit, student credit cards are an easy go-to; of course, you have to be an actual student enrolled in a college or university to qualify for most student cards. If you’re not a student, then you’ll want to look into either a secured credit card or a basic unsecured starter card.

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited
Discover it® Student Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
19.49% Variable
$0
Fair/New to Credit
Discover it® Secured Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.2

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
10.99% for 6 months
24.49% Variable
$0
New/Rebuilding

When it comes to consumer credit, having no credit score is usually considered to be better than having a bad credit score. Be sure to use your new credit card responsibly, including following the most important rule: always, always, always pay your credit card bill on time.

Who Is Eligible for a Credit Score?

Your credit scores are based on the information in your credit reports, which means anyone who can qualify for a consumer credit report is generally eligible for a consumer credit score from the major scoring agencies (FICO and VantageScore). However, this also means that if you don’t have a credit history to report, you won’t have any credit scores, either.

Once you’ve opened a credit account that reports your payment history to the credit bureaus, you’ll start becoming eligible for credit scoring. The amount of credit history you need for a score to be calculated will depend on the model; you can get a VantageScore shortly after your first credit account starts reporting to the bureaus, while a FICO credit score requires at least six months of reporting history.

The key is that your payment history needs to be reported to the bureaus. Without reported history, the scoring algorithms won’t have data to use. Similarly, if you stop using your credit accounts for more than six months, the lack of recent data can cause you to be ineligible for a credit score.

How Many Credit Scores Do You Have?

Something that has long caused confusion in the credit scoring world is the fact that you don’t have just one credit score. In fact, you can have dozens of credit scores from just the most common providers.

For example, consider the most common scoring provider, FICO. Each consumer can have more than 25 different FICO credit scores depending on the credit bureau used to source the data and the nature of the company requesting the credit score (auto lender vs. credit card issuer, etc.). The FICO Score 8 is the most commonly used score not associated with a specific industry.

Chart of Different FICO Credit Scores

And new scoring models are being developed all the time. The VantageScore model — which is frequently used by sites and companies that provide “educational” or free credit scores — was recently updated from the VantageScore 2.0 model to the VantageScore 3.0 model, and while many users made the switch, you may still run into either score.

Additionally, many big banks and lenders will typically use credit bureau data and their own internal scoring models when evaluating applicants. This means you can essentially have an unlimited number of credit scores, the majority of which you will likely never see.

Can You Get Your Credit Scores for Free?

One of the best things about credit scores — from the consumer standpoint — is that they can be a really convenient way to keep an eye on your credit profile. While you can check your credit reports for free each year through AnnualCreditReport.com, you typically have to pay for additional copies throughout the year.

However, your scores are directly based on your credit reports, so any major changes to your reports — new accounts, closed accounts, high debt levels — will have a pretty immediate impact to your credit scores. As such, you can track your credit scores each month and watch for any warning signs; major changes to your credit scores are usually a sign that something has changed on your credit reports.

What makes credit score tracking truly a convenient tool is that so many ways exist to get your credit scores for free. These days, many major banks, credit bureaus, and third-party companies offer free credit score tracking. Some of the more popular are:

You can also get a free monthly updated credit score through most of the credit card accounts offered by major banks, as well as a number of smaller and regional banks. Even some credit unions may offer you free credit score tracking for having a credit card account.

The credit scoring model and credit bureau data sourced to generate your free credit score will vary based on the source of the score. Many free credit scores are based on the VantageScore 3.0 model, as it is inexpensive to provide. However, many of the free scores provided through credit card accounts will be genuine FICO credit scores.

No matter which credit scores you check, it’s important to realize that they are all based on the same thing: your credit report data. So, as long as your credit reports show a positive payment history and low debt levels, your credit scores should reflect your good credit, regardless of how they’re calculated.

How Do You Increase Your Credit Score?

Each credit scoring model may look at the various aspects of credit risk differently, with some favoring longer credit histories while others are more concerned about how much debt you carry. But, in general, the way to increase your credit scores is to simply practice good credit habits — and to do so over years.

To get a basic idea of the factors that credit scoring models look at, let’s examine how FICO calculates scores:

  • 35% — Payment History: Any debt payments that are more than 30 days late can be reported as delinquent to the bureaus and really hurt your credit score. Always pay on time to avoid damaging this factor.
  • 30% — Amounts Owed / Utilization: This factor considers how much debt you have and how it is distributed. This includes your credit card utilization rate, which is the ratio of how much revolving credit you are using over your total available revolving credit.
  • 15% — Credit History Length / Account Age: Lenders like experienced credit users, so a long credit history can help boost your credit scores. Models look at both the overall age of your credit profile — your oldest account — plus the average age of all of your credit accounts.
  • 10% — Credit Mix: A diverse credit profile shows that you can handle different types of credit; a good credit mix would involve a variety of revolving and installment credit types.
  • 10% — New Credit: This is the factor that looks at how many new accounts you’ve opened — or attempted to open — in the last few years. Any hard inquiries you have on your reports will be included here.

Although you can actively work to improve and maintain several of the factors that go into your credit score — only you can prevent late payments — others can only be improved over time. For example, no matter what you do, you can’t make your credit history longer.

Similarly, some factors you shouldn’t try to rush just to boost your score, as it’s likely to backfire. A diverse mix of credit types, for instance, will often happen naturally over time as you do things like buy a vehicle or a house. Opening a bunch of credit accounts at a time in an attempt to improve your credit mix can actually hurt other factors of y our score, like your average account age.

You Can Find a Credit Card for Nearly Any Credit Score

While your ability to get a credit card can be impacted by any number of things — including your income and your history with the bank — your credit score will be the primary factor in determining which credit cards you can add to your wallet. The better your score, the better the cards (and rates and fees) you can get.

However, building good credit is a slow process that takes at least a couple of years. And, if your goal is to reach the highest credit score tier, you’re likely looking at five years or more of perfect credit use. In other words? Buckle in and enjoy the credit-building ride.