Believe it or not, Michigan consumers can build good credit scores without using credit cards. Here are the most common methods.

Normally, when Michigan consumers with little or no credit look for advice on how to build good credit scores, one tip dominates. Credit experts tell these consumers to get a secured credit card and use it responsibly. However, not every consumer in Michigan wants a credit card. Luckily, for consumers who, for whatever reason, want nothing to do with plastic, there are other ways to build good credit scores. Granted, those who steer completely clear of credit cards may not build perfect credit scores. In order to earn the best possible score, Michigan consumers should have a good mix of both credit card accounts and installment loans on their credit reports. However, you can avoid credit card use altogether and still build a good credit score.

Ways to Build Good Credit Scores in Michigan Without Using Credit Cards

As mentioned, Michigan consumers who don’t use credit cards at all won’t have perfect credit mixes on their credit reports. This type of individual also won’t have a utilization rate – the amount of their available credit that they use at a particular time. Although most Michigan credit scores are strongly affected by utilization rates, not having one won’t destroy your credit rating. In fact, not have a credit utilization rate is better than having an incredibly high utilization rate.

So, with these things in mind, here are the most common ways to build good credit scores in Michigan without using credit cards.

Get a “credit-builder” loan.

Banks and credit unions offer these loans to customers working to build better credit scores. Credit-builder loans are typically small – $1,000 or less, and they usually come with relatively low interest rates. For Michigan consumers who have no credit history, but a good relationship with their bank or credit union, these loans are ideal credit building tools.

Take out a federal student loan (but only if you really need one).

Consumers in Michigan probably hear a lot about student loan debt in the news. Unfortunately, many Michiganders struggle with student loan repayment. Therefore, you shouldn’t take out a student loan for the sole purpose of building credit. However, if you need the funds to further your education, responsibly managing a student loan will help your credit score. Just make sure to stay on track with your payments.

Apply for a small personal loan.

If you don’t have an established relationship with a bank or credit union, you can probably get a small personal loan from an online lender. The bad news is that interest rates on these loans are not always low. Yet, if you make every payment on time, the improvement to your credit score might make the extra expense worthwhile.

Ask your property manager to report your rent payments to the credit bureaus.

Many Michigan renters don’t know that landlords can report positive rent payments to the credit bureaus. Regrettably, most don’t because they don’t want the extra hassle. Yet, if you’re a good tenant, and you express strong interest in this service, your property manager might be swayed. You’ll have an even better chance at successfully pleading your case if you get other tenants to join your cause.

Become a (passive) authorized user on someone else’s credit card.

Okay, this one may sound a little like cheating because a credit card is involved. However, just because you’re an authorized user on a credit card doesn’t mean you have to use it. In fact, you can ask the primary card holder to destroy the card meant for you. Then, if the card holder manages the account responsibly, your credit score gets a boost from their activity.

Why All Michigan Consumers Should Regularly Check their Credit Reports

Whether you use credit cards or not, if you’re working on building a good credit score, you should keep tabs on your credit reports. For Michigan consumers, this serves two purposes. First, checking your credit reports allows you to look for signs of identity theft. Next, credit report monitoring gives you the opportunity to catch credit report errors that can bring down your credit score.

Luckily, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) entitles all consumers to free copies of their credit reports from the three major credit bureaus every 12 months. To make it easy, you can go to Here, you can request credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian from one federally authorized website.

If you find errors on one, two, or all three of your credit reports, call Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Michigan. When you call our firm, our team of credit pros will handle the dispute process for you, from start to finish. We’ll also connect you with an experienced credit attorney who will get you clean credit reports no matter what it takes – for FREE.

The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit in Michigan

Don’t let errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Michigan, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in cases that are settled. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.

Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (248) 353-2882 or contact us on our contact page.

For more information about Free Credit Repair, please visit