OK, the first thing is to realize that this "substantial amount of money" is likely a one-time thing. You need to be very careful what you do with this money. Your "friends and family" -- if they know about it -- will have plenty of ideas for you! My advice: put it in an insured money market deposit account in a bank. Let it sit there without touching it. That will take self-discipline. Next thing to realize is that now you have "breathing room" to look for a good job. That is the most important thing you can do to develop good credit. You need a record of employment. You need to do that before you consider buying property. But if a car will help you get to your job, then you can use some of the money to buy a good used car for cash. You won't get credit at any reasonable rate because you don't have a job! Now you need one -- just one -- credit card. Read the article at this link, describing "secured cards." They are standard Visa or MasterCard credit cards -- but your "line of credit" is the amount you deposit at the issuing bank. Start with a $1,000 deposit. Charge a small amount every month -- and then be sure TO REPAY IN FULL and ON TIME every single month. Pretty soon you will have a good credit report. You can check it at www.annualcreditreport.com. I'm so glad you wrote to me. Now, please do listen to me. This is truly an opportunity of a lifetime for you to gain financial independence. This is not about what you DO with the money -- but about what the money will let YOU do with your life!! So leave it in the bank, where you can't lose a penny-- and start planning a better future. And please do write back in a few months, and let me know how you're doing.