Am I too young to start

6 Replies

I'm 17 and turning 18 in a few days, I am really committed to becoming a full time investor and not working for someone else. My concern is that I do not have any credit, which I do plan on building but should I build my credit first before even starting in rental properties. 

I have considered using hard money or private money loans to get started and maybe do a few flips to get my foot in the door but I just wanted to hear other opinions on what I should do. 

Hey there Tyler,

There is no age limit to start investing, and frankly, the drive you have at such a young age will carry you very far.

To give you some perspective I became very interested in REI around 17 and became a sponge to all things Real Estate, whether that was BiggerPockets podcasts, books, personal finance courses, and everything else. I'm now 19, and an established Realtor helping investors find those perfect properties.

Knowledge is power, try to network with others who have it. If you get good at analyzing deals and can bring something to the table, your network can bring the other half such as credit, capital, and others.

I'm pumped for you Tyler good luck on your journey to financial freedom!

Hi Tyler. It's great to have you here on BP. Getting started at 18 is a fantastic idea. Take out a credit card or a couple and pay them off diligently every month. Get that credit established so when you find a property you are in the best position. Start talking to a banker right now about that. Figure out your long-term goals. I can't stress that enough: if you have the long-term goals planned out you can work backward to find out what to do today.

Find that first property and house-hack with an FHA loan and low money down. This will start to give you experience as a landlord. Banks love that almost as much as your credit score! Also, read a bunch. Good luck!

Hey @Tyler Brown

Congrats to you for your ambition! I work with a bunch of young aspiring real estate investors just like you (in a free online group), and I am willing to help you out with some advice or even chat on the phone if you wish. But first I recommend you read this article I wrote for Bigger Pockets titled How to Invest in Real Estate Before Turning 21. Once you've read it, let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions. I am a high school teacher in Colorado and I am always looking to help young people get started in real estate investing or help in any way I can. Let me know if you want to chat sometime.

Congrats Tyler! I wish I was thinking this way when I was 18. It is smart to be focused on your credit. 

If I were you I'd get a credit card as soon as you turn 18. If you can't qualify because of your lack of credit, apply for a starter card (Capital One has a few) where you put a small deposit down and they give you a small line of credit. Use the credit card to pay your cell phone bill (or any regular monthly bill) on autopay each month, and then put your credit card payments on autopay from your bank account. Hook it up, set it, and forget it. After 6-12 months they will more than likely increase your credit limit automatically and you'll start getting more credit card offers. 

What you want is a long history of on-time payments, even if it's just on one or two cards. Don't close your cards, keep them open. The length of time you have a card open factors into your credit score.

I'm sure you know this, but whatever you do make sure you always pay your credit card on time. Even just one ding from one late payment plays a big role in lowering your credit score. 

Once you get on the map with credit, I'd suggest looking into credit apps like Credit Karma or Credit Journey. (often offered as a free service through your bank app or credit card app). You can do simulations to see what moves will help or hurt your credit score. These are great. When I was younger your credit score was like a secret that was kept locked in a vault, and you only really found out what it was when you got a denial letter. Now we can easily track our credit all of the time.


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