How to build credit history fast in USA as an international student?
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How to build credit history fast in USA as an international student?

Vartika Kothiwal

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“If you don’t take good care of your credit, then your credit won’t take good care of you.” - Tyler Gregory

It’s as simple as that.

In the U.S., basic things like getting a mobile phone plan, renting an apartment, buying a car, getting insurance, and, yes, it’s true, sometimes even applying for a job requires a good credit score.

Want to know what a credit score is and its benefits? Click here.

As an international student, you will need a good credit score; otherwise, you may end up paying a high-security deposit for stuff like renting a house or even getting a credit card.

Hence, building a credit history for students becomes a must from day 1.

Click here to know how much time it takes for you to start building your credit score in the U.S.

With these facts, now your next set of questions would be “When can you start building credit history in the USA?” and “How to build credit history in USA as an international student?”

For that, you need a credit product like a loan or a credit card to build your credit score and show a good credit history.

But wait, for a loan or credit card, financial companies ask for your credit score.

Fret not! We have the solution for you.

When can I start Building Credit in the USA as an International Student?


As an international student, you can start building credit history in the US as soon as possible. This is because the length of your credit history plays a major role in getting a high credit score, provided the payments are timely. It is vital to start building credit history quickly because it takes time to achieve a credit score over 700.

How to Build Credit as an International Student in the USA quickly?

First of all, in order to get your financial planning right as an international student, getting a credit card is the easiest way to start building your credit score. But since large banks usually do not provide credit cards without a credit score, here’s what you can do to build your credit history in the US as an international student:

Apply for a Zolve Azpire Card

No SSN required. No security deposit. No hidden charges. 10% cash back and rewards. Yup, Zolve helps you build credit history as a student from day 1.

Join the waitlist for a Zolve Azpire Card now!

Apply for a secured credit card

To build credit as an international student in the USA, you can put down a security deposit with the bank basis on which the credit card would be issued. However, these cards have limited benefits and a low credit limit.

Apply for an unsecured credit card

No security deposit is required for these cards which can be an advantage to build credit as an international student. However, they too have limited benefits and a low limit as these are usually the less-branded cards.

Open a bank account

You can start building credit history directly through a bank with a debit or savings account in absence of a credit card. For that, you can check with the home branch of your bank if it has a U.S. branch. If that’s not the case, there are many other options available. Even your university might have a bank on campus. Transfer money regularly but keep the account balance healthy. You can set up a direct debit to ensure that your bills and expenses always get paid on time. This is an important hack on how does a student build credit.

Utility bills

If you choose to live in a separate apartment instead of using student accommodation in your university, set up monthly transfers from your bank account towards your rent and other utility expenses to ensure they always get paid on time. This will help you build credit history in the USA.

Become authorized on a Family Card

In case you find it difficult to get your own credit card, you can become an authorized user on a family card with a relative in the U.S. This is a well know-how to build credit as a student. But remember, joint credit card means joint responsibility so any credit impact, negative or positive, will be shared.

Get a store credit card

One more way to build credit as a student is via a store credit card. Store credit cards are the cards which you can use within that specific store. They offer multiple benefits such as discounts or early notifications on promotions. But just like a normal credit card, the store will charge you if you don’t make your payments on time. Also, though it’s easy to get a store credit card, the credit limit on these cards isn’t as high as a traditional credit card which means, on minor purchases your borrowed to available credit ratio could hurt your credit score.

Want more tips on how to build a credit score? Click here.

The road ahead

Now that you know the significance of credit history and credit score in the U.S. and the pain points associated with it, it’s time to start planning for the same.

For that, you can opt for a Zolve Azpire card. With Zolve Azpire, you can start building your credit history with the money you have or without any credit debt.

Join the waitlist Now!