How to Build Credit with a Credit Card: Tips and Tricks

As a skilled tradesperson, you understand the importance of building a strong reputation in your industry. You take pride in your work, and you’re always looking for ways to improve your skills and earn new certifications. But have you ever thought about how your credit score affects your professional reputation?

Whether you’re working as an electrician, plumber, HVAC technician, or in another skilled trade, having good credit can be crucial to your success. A low credit score can limit your access to financing, including business loans or personal lines of credit. It can also affect your ability to secure a lease on a new vehicle, qualify for insurance, or even land a job with certain companies.

Fortunately, building credit is not rocket science, especially with the use of a credit card. Here are some tips and tricks to help you to build credit with a credit card, even as a skilled tradesperson:

1. Choose the Right Credit Card

Not all credit cards are created equal. Some cards have high annual fees, hefty interest rates, or limited rewards programs. If you’re just starting to build credit, look for a card that’s designed for people with no credit or limited credit history. Some cards offer cash back or points rewards that can help you save money on everyday expenses like gas or groceries. However, if you’re not a fan of rewards systems, choose a card with no annual fees.

2. Apply for a Secured Credit Card

If you’re having difficulty getting approved for a typical credit card, consider a secured credit card. With a secured credit card, you put down a deposit as collateral, which reduces the risk for the lender. This type of card can be a good option for those who have poor or no credit history.

3. Keep Your Balance Low

One of the biggest factors that contribute to your credit score is your credit utilization. This is the amount of your credit limit that you use each month. To keep your credit score high, aim to keep your credit utilization below 30 percent. For example, if you have a credit limit of $1,000, try to keep your balance below $300.

4. Pay Your Balance in Full and on Time

Late payments or missed payments can have a significant negative impact on your credit score. Make sure to pay your balance in full and on time each month. If you’re struggling to make your payments, contact your lender before your due date to discuss your options. Set-up reminders on your phone or other devices to avoid forgetting the monthly payment.

5. Don’t Close Unused Credit Card Accounts

Closing a credit card account can actually hurt your credit score. When you close an account, you reduce your available credit, which can increase your credit utilization. Instead of closing an old account, consider using it occasionally for small purchases and paying off the balance in full each month.

6. Check Your Credit Report Regularly

Monitoring your credit report is important to ensure that your credit score is accurate. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) each year. Review your credit report regularly to look for errors or fraudulent accounts that could negatively affect your credit score.

Bottom Line

Building credit with a credit card is a valuable tool for skilled tradespeople. By choosing the right credit card, keeping your balance low, paying your balance in full and on time, and monitoring your credit report regularly, you can improve your credit score and build a stronger financial foundation for your career. While credit cards are a great tool, always use them wisely and avoid falling into debt.

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

> For one on one or group assistance with personal finance, STR recommends that you check out the following resources:

> Inaccuracies with Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data: Many of our blog posts will quote BLS data. has been able to identify that data quoted specifically for Skilled Trades can be as much as 50% LOW in many USA labor markets. For more information on these inaccuracies please visit the STR national labor survey page at the link below. On this page there is a video containing the latest information at the top of the page as well as other information. If you currently work in skilled trades, PLEASE consider participating in our national labor survey.

CLICK HERE for more Information

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.