3 Credit Tips for Students

As you enter college, it is important to start off on the right foot. Getting behind on your school work can quickly lead to your grade point average dropping and you having to play catch-up all semester long. This mentality should also be used when it comes to your finances. Establishing a good line of credit and staying on top of your payments can lead you to building healthy credit and maintaining a good credit score. Here are a few things you can do to start a good financial account in college:

Get a card
The first thing you need to do when trying to build up your account is to get a credit card. As your accounts are new, you may have a bit of trouble building up credit at the beginning. There are two common ways college students can improve their score at first. The first way would be asking to be an authorized user on your parents' account. This way, their good credit will be transferred to your account. Another way to start off is by signing up for a student credit card. Many financial institutions offer these types of cards, which are a bit more lenient when it comes to credit requirements. By trying either of these options, you will see your credit score rise in no time.

Use your card wisely
Although you may have been approved for your very own credit card, it is important to use it responsibly. By overspending and using your card for every single purchase, you will sink yourself into debt and cause your credit utilization ratio to rise. These can have major effects on your credit, so it is important to watch your spending. If you are having trouble with keeping track of your finances, try making a budget for yourself.

Access your credit report
As you start to gain a little traction with your credit score, you should keep an eye on how your accounts are doing. One way you can do this is by accessing your credit report. This document will provide a rundown of your account information, from how much of your balance you have used to any late payments you may have made. Thanks to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are allowed to get a credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax – over the course of a year. A good idea would be to spread these three reports out during the year so you can have an easier time tracking your credit.