Advertiser disclosure

How long does it take to build credit from scratch?

It generally takes three to six months to build credit from nothing, and you can even have a decent score within a year. But getting an excellent credit rating will take at least a few years, and will require you to demonstrate consistently responsible credit card habits.

Should you ever pay a credit card annual fee?

Paying for a credit card may be worth it if the card fits your existing lifestyle and rewards you significantly more than a no-fee card. But the latter are so competitive, generous, and perk-filled that most people will be perfectly happy with a no-fee card.