Guest writer here, talking about credit as a college student.
To be ahead of your classmates and ready for life after college, it be a good idea to consider racking up your credit reliability while in college and not after. Building credit should start as soon as possible, so that you can have a good credit score after graduating college. The first thing you need do is open a credit card account. Now you need to have a way to pay for the monthly bill payments, so don’t just open account with no means to make money. A credit account is all about paying the card on time, because if you can’t, you are only hurting yourself. Holding down a part-time or seasonal job should be enough to pay those bills on time, and the job will make you look more reliable to your card holders. This is not to say a person living off of expanses or savings can’t open an account or looks awful in the eyes of card holders. But when you report that your employed, the holders feel assured that you have a means to pay them back.
So how should you advance your card score, once you have the card? The score naturally goes up as you show the ability to pay your card ON TIME. By two years of paying ON TIME, so when you enter junior year, you can increase your credit line. You have shown your reliability, and you get rewarded. You should be able to increase your credit line every 1-2 years, if you have a history of paying ON TIME. Meaning by Senior year, it happens again. It’s okay to spend money on your card now, and reaped the rewards which some credit card companies give for spending. Make sure you can pay on time. An easy way of doing this is having a savings account where you naturally put some money every week or month.
Your Credit Score will be Terrific
By the time you graduate, your credit score will be terrific. You can most likely get a new credit card with better benefits and features than the first. If you believe you are unable to pay two cards at the same time, don’t get it. You have time. The goal is to increase credit score anyway. Keep your attention on your student loans; they are also reported on your credit score, so paying them on time is also important. Check your credit score often, maybe 3-4 times a year, after you get out of college.
If your parents have a worse credit score than you, parental identity theft can happen. If you notice this, the first thing you should do is calmly talk them. See whats going on on their side, and try to negotiate. If it gets out of hand, though, law enforcement involvement is needed.