Get a credit card, not a loan.
If you borrow a pile of money, you'll have to pay interest on it, and may be tempted to spend it on unnecessary things.
If you use your credit card to cover your regular daily spending and then always pay it off, you'll pay no interest and establish good credit history.
Is it like a criminal record?
That is an opinion. I don't think so. Here are some differences:
Everybody in the US who uses credit, good or bad, has a credit report (other countries too, but I am no expert in that)
NOT having a report can be just as harmful as having a bad report in some circumstances
Having a good report can save you money
Having a bad ...
You're not going to get decent interest on anything, sadly, but fortunately there are options for which the interest rate is nearly immaterial:
Get a low balance credit card.
Many credit card companies will extend you a limited amount of credit (say, $250), for usurious interest rates. Get one. Use it sparingly. Pay it off in full every month. You ...
For instance and to give a comparison to the US - in Austria, almost everybody gets a credit card (without a credit history (e.g. a young person) / with a bad credit history & with a good credit history).
The credit history is in the USA much more important than in Austria. In future, the way to assess a credit history will change due to analysis of ...
I came to US as an international student several years ago, and I have also experienced the same situation like most of the international students in finding ways to build credit history. Below I list out some possible approaches you may want to consider:
I. Get a student job at campus (recommended)
I think the best way is to get a student job in ...