Can I build a credit history with a prepaid card? - Building Credit History FAQ


ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE: is an independent, advertising-supported web site. receives compensation from most credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Credit Card Applications » Questions » FAQs » Building Credit History » Can I build a credit history with a prepaid card?

Can I build a credit history with a prepaid card?

Answered on | Updated on February 3rd, 2013
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

No, you cannot.

Prepaid cards do not report to credit bureaus and have no effect on credit history or credit scores. That’s because they aren’t really credit cards and there is never anything to pay back. All the money is loaded onto the card initially, and then spent until it runs out. Using a prepaid card won’t tell potential creditors anything about your payment behavior and whether you are a good candidate for a loan.

If you want to build credit history, you will need a card that reports to the three major credit bureaus – Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. They will track your payment history, total credit limit, number of lines of credit and types of credit to build a credit history that tells a story about your payment behavior.

Prepaid cards are very convenient, but one thing they are not good for is building credit history. If you would like to help your child build his or her credit, look into getting a student credit card. If you are trying to rebuild your own credit and are having trouble getting approved for an unsecured credit card, try a secured card that reports to all three credit bureaus.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.
Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you when others won’t
Fair/Bad Credit
Instant $500 Credit Line. No Credit Check.
Bad Credit
Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
Fair/Bad Credit

Other Questions in
Building Credit History

You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Your Credit History
Themes you are interested in:

By providing this information you help us make our news letters more useful and informative. Thank you!