Building a good credit score takes discipline and time. It is not something you achieve overnight, but there are some things that you can do today to speed up the process.

For starters, you can build a credit score from scratch by using credit – like getting a credit card or repaying a loan. It will take about six months of credit activity to establish enough history for a FICO credit score. A score of over 700 is a good credit score, and over 800 is excellent.

Why does it take time to build a good credit score? Creditors want to see good behavior over time. A good track record will boost your credibility. Always pay your balances on tme and never carry too much debt at any time to fall on the good side of your lenders.

How to work your credit score up

Opening a secured credit card account is a nice way to get started. This is ideal if you do not have a credit history or are on the way to rebuilding your credit. You make a deposit to the bank, which acts as a collateral in case you stop making payments. This makes you less risky for them to approve.

Your deposit is refundable. In time, your issuer will upgrade you to an unsecured card upon request after you have demonstrated your top financial skills.

Alternatively, you can become an authorized user on someone else’s account, perhaps your spouse or parents. Authorized users have a credit card and can use it just like the primary account holder, but have no legal responsibility for the account. This can jumpstart your credit score but it is not a long-term fix since you are only piggybacking on someone else’s.

Another option is getting a credit builder loan. Your lender will deposit the amount you are approved for into a savings account and you repay this loan over time with interest. You can get this money plus interest earned after you have paid the loan in full. This process will establish a payment history for your report and give you a good start.