Eventually, the need for a healthy credit score will come into play within your life. Whether you need to rent an apartment, buy a home or even get a cell phone account, your credit score plays a direct role in your everyday life. Because of this, it’s imperative that you have a healthy credit report capable of giving you the financial flexibility our modern lives demand.

While you may think building a healthy credit score will take years – or is even impossible if you have terrible credit – the reality is much more simplistic. Although there are literally hundreds of tips you can follow to help build a solid and healthy credit report, perhaps one of the most effective ways to accomplish this goal isn’t necessarily through a credit card. Rather, there are various other methods you can call upon to help build your credit score into the healthy zone.

Tip #1 – Pay Off Old Bills

While you may think if a bill has gone into collections you won’t have to pay it off, if you’re looking for a fast way to build your credit report, then you should actively work on paying off old bills – even those that are in collections. Make sure all of your accounts are in good standing. Obtaining a history of paying your bills and eliminating your debt will significantly boost your credit rating. Although paying off collections accounts doesn’t actually raise your FICO score, it does go into your overall report that financial lenders will take into consideration.

Tip #2 – Report Rent Payments to Credit Bureaus

This is one of the most effective – and smartest – ways to increase your credit score; especially for those who have terrible credit. By reporting your monthly rent payments directly to the credit agencies, you’re establishing a history of paying your bills on time, which is one of the most important variables when it comes to determining your overall score. While you can’t report your own rent payments, have your landlord or property management company report your on-time payments. There are many third-party applications capable of doing this for you.

Tip #3 – Take Out a Loan

Generally speaking, the majority of personal loans are considered installment accounts, which weigh heavy on your credit score. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to quickly boost your credit score without having to take out a credit card is by obtaining a personal loan. If a traditional bank doesn’t want to give you a loan, seek out alternative lenders, such as credit unions or even Peer-2-Peer personal loans.