Your college years are the times of a lot of new beginnings. You are beginning to establish yourself as an independent adult. You will also be creating some habits and values that you will continue for the rest of your life. Needless to say, it is essential to get off to a good start.
Poor credit is an issue that many adults struggle with on a daily basis. Coincidentally, many of these issues start during their college years. There are some things you can do now to establish god financial habits now and build good credit for later. Here are some methods you can use to establish good credit while you are in college.
Create a budget
You should establish a budget right away when you first begin living on your own. This will be a valuable tool that you will use the rest of your life. Knowing where your money goes and how much you have to spend will keep you out of debt.
This will also ensure that you pay all your bills. Paying bills is the simplest way to maintain good credit that many people forget about. Plan out all expenses for each month along will all your income. You will know exactly how much you need to pay in expenses and how much you have left over to do with as you please.
Monitor your credit report and accounts
Knowing your credit score is another valuable tool that you will need to maintain throughout your life. You will know what to need to improve and what elements are harming your credit score, so you can fix them.
You should monitor your accounts the same way. Check your bank accounts online regularly. This way you will know if any suspicious activity happens. This is crucial to protecting your money and, more importantly, your identity.
Use a credit card
Having a credit card and using it properly is still the best way to build credit in your name when you are young. The key is understanding you to use credit properly to avoid excessive debt, which will in turn actually harm your credit.
“All students should know how their credit card works and the best way to get all the benefits out of it that you can,” says Chris Mettler of CompareCards.com, “if every college student does this, the next generation of adults will be much more financially sound and debt rates will drop significantly.”
Get a loan with a co-signer
Instead of trying to pay for your education out of pocket or with grants and scholarships alone, consider opening up a different line of credit and getting a loan to help you pay for school. Student loans often have the lowest interest rates and simple payment plans, so using them to build your credit will be easier than any other loan.
Having a co-signer is a good idea to get you a better rate. At this point, you probably have little or no credit, so having a co-signer with good established credit will help you get better rates and lower monthly payments when you graduate.