The short answer is: buying items on credit, paying for those items on time, and repeating this process for an extended period of time with various lenders in order to establish a credit history. A credit rating is intended to measure your ability to repay a debt. Lenders look at your past record of paying bills, your individual account credit limit in relation to the account high balance, and your income or other sources of money in determining whether to extend credit. Therefore, having a reliable source of income and maintaining a savings account in case of emergencies makes it easier to pay bills on time, thereby ultimately contributing to a good credit rating.