An excellent credit score allows you to enjoy financial opportunities, especially after graduating. For example, it can help you rent an apartment, secure a car loan, and even be approved for a mortgage.
While it might seem hard to earn a good credit score while you’re a college student, it’s not impossible. Below, we’ve provided you with four tips to help you positively impact your credit while you’re still in school.
Open A Student Credit Card
The first step to positively affecting your credit score is to get your own student credit card. Although most come with a low credit limit and higher APR compared to regular credit cards, you don’t need a well-established credit history to apply for them.
Besides helping you gain credit, a student credit card can also help you cover your daily expenses. Another thing, these credit cards often feature student-related perks like cashback for a good grade.
A student credit card can positively impact your credit score when used responsibly. However, avoid applying for several credit cards within a short period. Multiple credit card applications in a short time can negatively impact your credit score.
Every time you fill out an application, the credit card company runs a hard inquiry into your credit report, thus, negatively affecting your credit score. And that’s not to mention that the more you spend on new credit cards, the more debt you accumulate.
Keep Up with Payments in College
Another way to positively impact your credit is to keep up with your payments. Remember that student loans, credit cards, and other debts significantly influence your credit scores as a college student. So, after getting your credit card, ensure you don’t miss a payment.
To keep up with your payments, you can list every bill and find out when your bills are due. It also helps to add your debt due date to your calendar to avoid late payments. And if you keep on forgetting, set up automated payment via your creditors.
It’s wise to design a system for manual payments if you cannot pay for everything automatically. You can choose whether to pay your bills right away or on a particular day of each month.
Monitor Your Credit Scores and Credit Reports
Credit scores and reports are factors lenders check to determine your loan terms, such as interest rates. Therefore, monitoring them regularly can help you spot potential inaccuracies that might affect your ability to secure a loan as a college student.
Paying attention to your credit score and reports frequently helps allow you to figure out which financial decisions affect your score. And you can make the necessary changes to help your credit score health.
You also should use a credit report monitoring service. Such services can track changes to your creditworthiness and inform you of potential fraud. Also, they can guard you against identity theft.
Take Advantage of Rent Reporting
Most landlords often use credit scores to determine whether to accept your application. However, they rarely report your rental payments.
Rental reporting allows credit bureaus to include your positive rent payments in your credit report. But that is only true if your landlord provides them with the information.
Besides your landlord, a rent reporting service can help you report your timely rent payments.