10 Ways to build your credit score without a credit card

Building your credit score without a credit card is easier than you think. Keep reading to see 10 credit-card-free options for building your credit score!
Cash superimposed in front of a colorful, geometric background.

For millions of Brits, credit cards are the foundation of their credit score. They’re convenient and can often be tailored to your needs. When used wisely, credit cards can rapidly improve your credit score, but they aren’t without their fair share of problems. Credit cards are also:

  • Expensive: The average interest rate is roughly 24%. That can add up fast, especially if you’re only making the minimum payment.
  • Surprisingly inaccessible: Credit card eligibility requirements often prevent people who are rebuilding their credit or are trying to build credit for the first time from accessing credit.
  • Confusing: Trying to understand a credit card’s T&C’s can feel like learning a new language. APR, APY — WDYM?!

So, what are your options if you want to build your credit score without a credit card? Fortunately, you’ve got plenty. Here, we’ll explore 10 of the best ways to build your credit score without a credit card. Let’s get right to it!

Build your credit score with other credit products

Credit cards can be a great product for building your credit score, but there are many other financial tools that you can use. Depending on your needs and where you are in your credit journey, the following tactics could help boost your score.

1. Pay off your existing debts

Demonstrating your ability to pay off debts can positively impact your credit score. Regularly making timely payments for your existing loans or credit card balances shows that you’re in control of your finances, which can boost your credit score.

2. Get a credit builder loan

Credit builder loans are kind of like reverse loans. Instead of receiving the lump sum up front and then making payments, you pay the loan off first and then receive the lump sum. Credit builder loans are much easier to qualify for because there’s next to no risk for lenders because the loan is secured against your prior payments.

Credit builder loans build your credit score by building and improving your payment history, which is the most important factor influencing your credit score.

Related read: What is a secured loan?

3. Get a credit builder card

Credit builder cards are essentially the credit builder loan version of a credit card. Instead of using the card and then paying off your balance, you add a balance to the card before using it. This way, it’s secured against your initial deposit. Maintaining a credit utilisation ratio of less than 25% of your credit limit and making regular deposits can boost your credit score.

4. Apply for car finance

Financing a car and consistently making your payments is another way to build your credit score. Make sure that the loan terms are manageable, that the payments are within your budget, and that purchasing a car is the right move for your finances.

5. Manage your credit utilisation ratio

Your credit utilisation ratio is the amount of credit you're using compared to your credit limit. Keeping your usage to 25% or less of your credit limit shows lenders you're not overly reliant on credit, which can improve your credit score.

6. Stay out of your overdraft or use it sparingly

Regularly dipping into your overdraft can indicate that you’re struggling. This can damage your credit score and make it harder to qualify for other kinds of financing. Getting out of your overdraft, using it sparingly, or staying out of it completely demonstrates healthy financial management, which benefits your credit score.

Related read: Do overdrafts affect your credit score?

Build your credit score without any credit products or debt

7. Make regular payments on your bills

Your payment history is the most important factor influencing your credit score, and a single missed payment can significantly impact your credit score. Therefore, paying your utility bills, mobile plan, insurance, TV licence, and any other regular payments on time can positively impact your credit score. Consistent payments show potential lenders that you’re on top of your financial commitments.

8. Put household bills in your name

A consistent payment history can boost your credit score, but it’s hard to see any results if the payments aren’t in your name. If your household bills aren’t in your name, consider changing them so you receive credit for your timely payments.

9. Register for the electoral roll

Finally, registering on the electoral roll at your current address can help improve your credit score. This provides credit reference agencies and lenders proof of your address, helping confirm your identity and making you appear more stable and reliable.

10. Use Pave to build your credit score without a credit card

Whether you want to build your credit score without any credit products or low-risk credit products, the Pave app can help you boost your score. Pave’s smart protection connects to your bank account to track and send alerts on priority bills that could impact your credit score, helping you make timely payments and building your credit score.

Plus, Pave can help you actively build your credit score with a credit builder account that helps improve your credit utilisation and payment history. We’ll report your payments to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion to maximise the benefit to your credit score.

And the best thing about Pave? It’s easy to get started. With 0% APR on our credit builder accounts, no hidden fees, and no hard credit checks, we make the journey to a better credit score as effortless as possible. To see why 99%* of our customers with good credit habits improve their scores, get Pave today.

Get started in less than three minutes

*The 99% number represents Pave Plus customers who have been with Pave for at least 6 months, and have taken all actions listed in the Pave app while not adding negative markers to their credit file such as late payments or defaults. *Pave cannot guarantee an increase in your credit score.