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Can you even begin to build credit without a Social Security number? The answer is yes. The credit bureaus will use other information about you, such as your name, address and birth date, to gather information about your credit activity all in one place.

To build good credit, you’ll need to show positive payment history over time. This means making regular purchases and paying off your balance on time every month.

It takes about six months of credit activity for a FICO credit score to be created. Once you have a FICO score — the score most commonly used by lenders to determine your creditworthiness — you may find a wider variety of credit cards available to you. You could move up to an unsecured credit card (one that doesn’t require a deposit) and eventually cards that offer juicy rewards.

You can also start building your U.S. credit history by applying for a secured credit card. With these cards, you provide a deposit, usually $200 or more, that the issuer holds in case you don’t pay your bill. In most cases, your deposit becomes your credit limit — put down a $500 deposit, for example, and your credit limit is $500. There are also a few companies that offer credit cards specifically for recent immigrants and international students.

Another way is to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, which follows the same nine-digit format as a Social Security number (XXX-XX-XXXX) and can be used in place of one on credit card applications. You can obtain an ITIN regardless of your immigration status.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit- ... ty-number/