Retired consumers in Illinois can build good credit scores even if they have no credit history. Here are some tips on how to start the process.

Individuals in Illinois who are over the age of 65, retired, and have little or no credit history can still build good credit scores. At any age, there are benefits to having good credit. For example, if you need to replace a car or pay for home improvements, it is helpful to have financing options. Typically, the best solution for Illinois consumers in this situation is to obtain a secured credit card. With a limited credit history – and possibly a limited income – your credit options are also limited. However, secured credit cards present less risk to creditors than unsecured cards. These credit cards also carry less risk for users because they limit debt-building potential.

What Retired Illinois Consumers with No Credit History Should Know About Secured Credit Cards

Illinois consumers with no credit history (or less than perfect credit) are often approved for secured credit cards. This is because secured credit card issuers require cash deposits to decrease risk. Once approved for a secured card, applicants must provide a deposit in order to activate an account. Normally amounting to $300-$500, this cash deposit often serves as the spending limit for a secured credit card. This way, if an Illinois cardholder runs into trouble, the money is already there to cover the charges.

Retired individuals in Illinois interested in using secured credit cards to build good credit scores should know that there are plenty of options on the market. Interest rates vary from card to card, and some secured credit cards come with annual fees. In addition, some secured card issuers have stricter requirements than others. With these factors in mind, Illinois consumers should research their options. Look at secured credit card requirements, fees, and interest rates. Then, apply for the card that best fits your needs and situation.

How Retired Illinois Consumers with No Credit History Should Use Secured Credit Cards to Build Good Credit Scores

Even though they require cash deposits, secured credit cards work just like unsecured cards once issued. Illinois consumers who use them should remember that, even though their cash deposit can cover unpaid balances, missed payments still count against them. Like with any credit card, late payments and defaults hurt credit scores. So, make sure you make every secured credit card payment on time.

Second, secured credit cards typically come with low spending limits. This can make it difficult to keep utilization low. Yet, retired Illinois consumers should remember that the card’s primary purpose is to help them build a good credit score. Therefore, if you’re secured card has a $300 spending limit, you should charge around $90 or less at any given time – preferably less.

Most credit experts agree that utilizing 30% or less of your available credit is the best way to avoid losing credit score points for using too much credit. In order to make this easier, some retired individuals in Illinois pick one necessary expense to put on their secured credit card. For example, they may charge the fuel for their cars, and nothing else.

Next, paying off your balance every month helps keep your utilization low and interest charges down. By not carrying a balance over from month to month, you only pay the actual amount that you spend. You also avoid debt-building.

By practicing these good credit habits, retired Illinois consumers should see their credit scores gradually improve from month to month. Finally, protect your growing credit score. Get into the habit of regularly checking your credit reports for signs of identity theft and credit report errors.

Why Retired Illinois Consumers Working to Build Good Credit Scores Should Regularly Check their Credit Reports

Unfortunately, identity theft is a big threat to Illinois consumers – especially after the Equifax breach. Therefore, in addition to taking measures to keep your data safe, you should also check your financial statements and credit reports regularly for suspicious activity.

When it comes to credit reports, all consumers in Illinois and throughout the country should check them at least once every 12 months. This is how frequently the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) entitles you to free copies of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus. Just go to to request credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian from one website.

Then, while reviewing your credit reports, if you spot unauthorized items or bogus charges that indicate identity theft, file a police report immediately. Next, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Illinois. If, on the other hand, you notice credit score damaging errors on your credit report, call Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Illinois right away.

Our team of credit pros fixes credit issues for free. Regardless of what it takes to get you clean credit reports, you never pay anything out of pocket for the work we do. So, don’t try to take on creditors and the credit bureaus on your own. Instead, let an experienced credit attorney from our firm help you with credit repair after identity theft. Or, let us assist you with general credit repair.

The Free and Legal Way to Get Better Credit After Identity Theft

Don’t let identity theft damage or errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, 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 settled cases. 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 (855) 956-2089 or sending him a message through our contact page.

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