In wake of the Credit CARD Act of 2009, which prohibits anyone under 21 to get a credit card without a cosigner, every college student struggles with their credit score. It’s very difficult to buy things like cars and houses with a nonexistent credit score, so our Campus Homes agents have outlined four ways to build your credit score as a student!
1. Become an authorized user on your parents’ credit cards.
FICO still allows “piggybacking”, which helps you build good credit through your family members. This also allows your parents to monitor your spending which, in turn, helps you to build good spending habits for when you own your own credit card
2. Open up a credit card in your name.
It’s not bad to open a credit card in your name– if you’re responsible about it. Do not open more than one account at a time; start with a single credit card. Buy small, inexpensive things when you’re just starting out. No big buys! You start to ruin your credit when you buy expensive items that you can’t pay off at the end of the month.
3. Only take out loans for educational purposes.
Don’t take out loans for things such as cars– you don’t want your loan debt to become unmanageable. If you only have your student loans to pay off after college and you pay the minimum back each month, it will build your credit score rather than tear it down.
4. Don’t cosign anything for friends.
You wouldn’t give a family heirloom to a friend to borrow, would you? You shouldn’t give your credit score to anyone else, either, which is what co-signing for somebody is. If you cosign a purchase for your friend and they don’t pay back what they owe, that wrecks your credit score. So keep it simple and keep your signature and your credit score to yourself.
If you keep these things in mind, you’ll leave college with a great credit score and your future will be brighter because of it!