DebtFact: someday you’ll need and want bigger things in life for as little money as possible, whether that’s upgrading to a condo or a car that’s completely you. You’ll need positive information in your credit files and a good credit score for that! The bad news: if you have little to no credit, there likely won’t be enough information in your credit reports for potential lenders to use, or for which a credit score can be generated for favorable financing.

Now the good news. Establishing good credit no longer has to follow the traditional process of applying for a credit card, making a charge (or two or three) and paying it off to show potential lenders you can responsibly manage debt. If you’re not yet sure you’re disciplined enough to handle credit cards, the traditional process is probably not a good look anyway.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to establish good credit that doesn’t involve applying for credit cards at all. Thanks to Experian’s 2010 acquisition of RentBureau, a specialty credit reporting agency that focuses on rent, your on-time rental payment information can now be added to your Experian credit file to help you start building the credit you need. And there are 3 agencies to help you get started safely and securely.

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