Start-up is not only about business, but a mentality. It’s the courage to have nothing in the beginning except the confidence you will achieve greatness. This helps when you are just out of college, and you want to start building credit from scratch. It’s a long process, but there are a few shortcuts to get you up to speed, in the Good credit range. Once you are there, you can fine-tune your approach and aim for a FICO score over 800. So, what does start-up mindset stand for, after all?


When you are just getting ready to build something long-lasting, there is no magic formula. You need to try different things and maybe make some mistakes along the way. Keep track of your finances with a downloadable free budget spreadsheet. Don’t be discouraged if you use your credit card recklessly the first two or three months. Also, shop around a bit for the card that best suits your needs, including loyalty perks and other advantages. There are numerous options out there for first-time credit card owners.

Work-Life balance

Even if you have some overdraft on your plastic, it’s not the end of the world. You don’t need to put in countless extra hours to cover your balance. Most companies are happy to see you pay at least your minimum.

Learn from the start-up mentality to try and find balance in everything. Don’t use your credit card as therapy and don’t burden your co-signer. Money is a means, not a goal and you should strive to have enough to avoid stress, but also keep away from burnout. Start each month with a list of needs and a budget to have a clear view of what is achievable.

Go digital

Most start-ups these days are 100% digital or use the Internet as a way of communication, marketing, finding vendors and more. There is a platform, or an app for everything and the same goes for money management, even more so for beginners. Choose a card which has a robo-advisor or an attached app. This way it will be easier to keep track of your spending, your payment and even get some great budgeting tips. If possible, set up alerts to warn you when you are approaching your spending limit.

Be open to help and collaborations

Start-ups are built with the help of friends and family. Take advantage of this approach and extend it to your endeavor to grow your credit score. For example, you could ask anyone over 21 to be your co-signer, either a parent or your better half. This is much like a business partner. You will be in this together, and you will be both equally responsible for the debt you accumulate. They can’t get out of the deal until you pay the loan or close the credit card so take this seriously.

Another option to build your trustworthiness is to become an authorized user on somebody else’s credit card. This is an option you would most likely discuss with your family since it involves high risk for the card owner. You are not legally obliged to make any payment, although you can charge the card.