5 Strategies to Help Students Improve Their Credit
University is that middle ground between childhood and real life. Your parents keep nagging you about the harsh realities that await after graduation, but it really is important to hit the ground running with a good credit score. A good score can help you buy a nice car, get that sweet apartment, and get back into grad school if you want to take your education to the max. Take control of your own life by using these five strategies to boost your credit score as a student.
Being an authorized user on your parent’s credit card means you can use their card to your heart’s delight. It also means that your credit score piggy-backs on their good credit. You’ll get a boost to your score when your parent keeps a low limit and makes on-time payments. And they don’t even have to give you a card.
Your credit score gets a boost for having a long history of credit. And that history needs to start at some point. Might as well open a card while you’re in school to start developing your own credit history.
Credit scores go up when you keep a small yet manageable balance. Use the card only for small purchases that you can pay off quickly. And always make your payment on time in order to develop the most pristine history possible.
Make sure your credit is manageable by only having one or two accounts. More accounts reflect negatively and it may be difficult to keep up with multiple minimum payments. You’re also more likely to forget about a payment date with multiple cards.
You’re likely to be asked by friends to co-sign for a loan or card after you’ve built your credit history. You’re going to have to tell your friend, “No.” Your friend may damage your credit without your knowledge or consent. It’ll hurt you, your friendship, and your ability to control your own life.
It’s important to check your credit report once you’ve developed a history. According to CrediReady, over 1 in 5 people have an error in their credit report, so you need to check your report for errors every so often so that you can protect what you’ve built. Fraudulent charges and errors in reporting can damage the credit you’ve worked so hard to achieve using these strategies as a student.