There’s no better time to get started learning about credit and building your credit history than as a student.
Let’s face it, student life is about budgeting, being frugal and putting every dollar you have toward your education. These are great strategies to learn that will help you later in life as well.
So how do you get started?
One of the best ways to begin is to get a credit card with a relatively small credit limit.
Many credit card issuers offer cards specifically for students. The best ones will have no annual fee and many even offer cash back bonuses.
Another way to get started with credit is to apply for a department store credit card. Even if you have little or no credit, department store cards are fairly easy to get.
However, choose a store where you can buy useful things like school supplies rather than a clothing store. You don’t want to be tempted, right?
“Building a good credit score
is easier when you start early.”
Things you need to remember:
- Try to pay off all of your purchases in total each month.
This will ensure you’re not carrying a balance that will be accruing interest.
- Don’t use your card for frivolous things.
The point is to begin building good credit habits, which means not overspending. Use your card for some of the things you would already be buying and put the cash aside for when the bill comes.
- Don’t be late with your payments.
This more than anything is crucial to creating and maintaining a good credit history.
- Keep this card active.
One of the most important metrics when it comes to building a good credit score is the length of time you’ve had credit. Even after you have graduated and have gotten new credit cards, keep this one in your desk drawer. It’s not nostalgia. It’s good credit sense.
- Get in the habit of checking your credit report.
You should spend some time getting to know how to read your credit report and learn to scan it for errors. Believe it or not, it isn’t uncommon for credit reports to contain mistakes. Be sure to dispute any entries that don’t belong to you.
Building a good credit score is easier when you start early. As a student, you’re in a great position to take advantage of the credit card offers available – just don’t overdo it. Learning good credit habits now will definitely pay off for a long time to come.
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