You could get a secured credit card. As long as there’s no annual fee and you pay off the balance each month it wouldn’t cost you anything. It’s a fairly common and safe way to build your credit because you can’t get in too much trouble with one since you generally have to make a deposit equal to your credit limit, and this deposit is also used as collateral in case you don’t make your payments.
Pay debt in time. If you have student loans, making payments on them will build your credit.
I built mine up in college buy getting a very basic credit card with no fancy rewards. I used it to buy only one thing each month - my metro card (I live in New York City). Transportation was necessary, I used it every day, so it was an expense I could justify and would be able to pay off every month.
Really should have been working on those student loans. Coulda, woulda, shoulda...
Point is, paying off debt on time every month is the way to build a good credit score. Having no debt or having TOO MUCH debt or missing payments is what gets people in trouble.
The advice I always give is get a store credit card or cards from Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc. Use them when needed, and pay off the balance the next month or during a couple/few months time. Don't go on a spending spree to build your credit, just use them as needed. Also, get the Credit Karma app. It allows you to keep track of your score without taking hits.
Play kissy face with the banks. Borrow and pay back. Go in debt
Make sure you do not have any dents on your credit and if you do look up letters you can send to the lender to remove the dents. Sometimes it is easier to hire someone to do this.
Just as others have said most importantly pay your cards off on time.
Typically with some cards you can raise the credit limit on them after you have a certain amount of continuous on time payments. Some will do it automatically for you but just don't jump the gun and ask for a limit increase prematurely because if you get denied it could hurt your future requests and you may have to wait about 6 months or so to try gain. Also, I am not sure about the soft/hard inquiry effect you would receive.
I have also heard others that have had an emergency where they needed to take a (small) loan so they would take a loan for double the amount needed. They would still make their own monthly payments but also add in the 2nd half of their loan on the monthly payments. I have never taken that approach so I am not sure how well it actually works. You would have to do the math and make sure it makes sense and of course, stay disciplined.
I always recommend applying for cards that have sent you offers in the mail. Like most folks have said here, use it monthly and pay it. Do not make the minimum monthly payments because there is a computer algorithm that is used by the credit bureaus that monitors this so even paying a dollar above the minimum monthly payment helps your credit better than just paying the minimum.
When you get a credit card, every 6 months you should be calling up asking for a credit line increase (I normally will ask for at least double the amount). Also ask if they can lower your APR rate. Sometimes you'll get it lowered and sometimes you won't.
Some brand of cards are better than others so that will involve some research on your end. Best of luck!
@Clay Rikard have someone with a long and excellent payment history add you to their CC’s as an authorized user. It’s called “piggy backing”. https://www.thebalance.com/credit-card-piggybacking-and-impact-to-credit-scores-960197
you're going to get a lot of different answers on how to build your credit because you didn't give enough information on where you stand. Someone with poor credit will approach this differently from someone with no credit. I will speak on a position of no credit.
Getting a credit card and adding a small charge to it like Netflix and paying it off every month will help build your credit score but it will not do much for your credit history. I remember when I was going to purchase a car and I have a 750 credit score but was denied a loan because I had a weak credit history. At that juncture I went to a credit union and took out $1,000 cash loan put it back in the bank and pay it off using the cash over the course of 6 months. I kept doing this until I was able to borrow $15,000 which allow me to purchase the car. As Sean Ackerman said piggybacking off of someone who has a good credit history and credit scores and make large purchases would be a great way to kill two birds with one stone what if you're going to do this by yourself. while building your credit always keep in mind never spend money that you don't have although building your credit is the practice of spending money that don't have.