College students often assume that they have no way to reliably and safely build credit while in school. However, this could not be further from the truth. Thankfully, there are many amazing and safe ways for students to build their credit score, and prepare for an adult, post-graduation life. Here are five of the absolute best ways that college students can boost and build their credit scores:
1. Credit Builder Cards
Perhaps the most cutting-edge method of increasing your credit score is using credit builder cards. By using these luxury credit choices sensibly, you can establish credit while avoiding debt. They are an excellent choice for people who are just starting to develop their credit, especially students who are looking for a financial lifeline because they have no APR and you can earn cashback benefits by using them frequently. Even students who already have an established credit history, or a solid credit score, can benefit greatly from a high-quality card to help build credit, so be sure to consider this option!
2. Take Time Between New Lines of Credit and Credit Cards
It could be tempting to apply for another credit card once your first one has been issued. That being said, applying for several credit cards at once is not advised for a variety of reasons. To begin with, several credit card applications made quickly may raise a concern for card issuers. Actually, some card providers have regulations that forbid submitting numerous applications. Not to mention that you increase your risk of incurring additional debt each time you carry a credit card in your wallet. That's a lot of responsibility for a student to bear, especially if they don't have a steady source of money. Stay hitting the books, and avoid overextending yourself as you begin your adult life.
3. Keep a Consistent Payment History
The most crucial aspect of raising your credit score is maintaining your credit card payments. Your payment history, which accounts for 35% of your credit score calculation, shows that you can properly use credit, and allows investors to trust you. The primary key to responsibly using credit is to only make purchases you can afford to pay back. While it may be tempting to use your credit card to make large purchases, doing so could easily result in a bill you are unable to pay in the long run, especially as a college student. Additionally, it depletes any available credit that you might require for other purposes.
4. Obtain a Student Credit Card
The importance of student access to credit is recognized by card issuers. Credit cards can aid in covering daily expenses in addition to assisting with credit score development. Because of this, many card issuers provide unique student credit cards that are designed with students' requirements in mind. Student credit cards frequently provide benefits tied to education, such as cashback for stellar grades, and don't need applicants to have a history of credit to apply and obtain them. Other advantages are also available with some student cards, such as a higher reward percentage for on-time payments, as well as other student-centric perks that you'll be happy to unlock.
5. Practice Financial Responsibility
While paying your payments on time is critical, controlling your expenditures is just as crucial. How much credit you have compared to how much credit you use is known as credit usage. It's advised to keep your credit use at no more than 30% of your total credit limit. Use your credit card as though it's a debit card as a general rule, to keep your expenditures in check, and to ensure you're saving money for other important college student-specific needs. Simply put, only spend money you can afford to repay. Your credit account will remain active and your credit score will remain stable if you keep your credit use low and consistently pay off your credit card transactions. This is one of the most crucial tools at your disposal for building and maintaining a fantastic credit score.
Your Path Toward a Stellar Credit Score Starts Now
With these five tips at your disposal, you can finally start building the credit score of your dreams. While paying attention to your studies is crucial, beginning other steps toward becoming a successful adult will be just as important. By having a headstart among peers, you’ll have a better chance at landing your dream job and living in your dream home. Everyone deserves their shot at the American dream, so it’s time you take charge!