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New credit can help improve your credit scores. Having new positive tradelines reporting on your credit report shows lenders that you are able to be trusted to pay back your debts. Having new credit cards is the most effective way to improve your scores. This is because revolving credit accounts like credit cards have more of an immediate impact on the FICO credit scoring model.
In contrast, installment loans (auto loans, personal loans, home loans, etc) have set monthly payments, so the credit score models focus on their payment history. New installment accounts with no payment history are considered high risk, as they do not show if you can actually afford your new monthly payments. (This is exactly why you should never get an installment loan while buying a home.)
Our experience has proven that credit cards are the best option to build your credit. The FICO scoring model looks at your credit card balances compared to your available credit (credit limits). Maintaining a low balance can not only help improve your scores better than installment loans, but they can also establish your trustworthiness for better financing options and interest rates.
If you know that you have credit issues and you are trying to apply for a credit card, it is possible that you may not get approved. In this case, we recommend secured credit cards while you are working on your credit scores. They may not be the ideal terms or conditions, but once you have a consistent payment history and record of your balance, getting approved for a better card can be much easier.