Students attending college have a unique opportunity to build their credit early on. Most enter college with a “blank slate” with neither a positive nor negative credit rating. In fact each person starts with no credit score and must make some type of payments for at least six months before a positive or negative credit score is earned.
First, get a credit card. Talk with your bank about a student credit card. Most every college student qualifies for a credit card in their own name and most provide a maximum $300 limit. The “Simple Dollar” website provides some ideas on the best credit cards for students.
Second, get a short term loan from a bank for a college-related expense. A computer is one example of something to get a loan for. By paying on a loan over time further helps build your credit. Talk with your bank about the types of school-related purchases they would provide loans for.
Third, use money from parents to pay your credit cards and loans. if your family members are providing any type of monthly allotment to you, then you have income that you can use to make payments on a loan or on a credit card. Use the money you may receive from a family member to increase your credit score.
Finally, keep in mind that building your credit during college is different than building your credit after college. A positive credit score only results when you are making payments. So, if you are taking out student loans for college, you do not receive positive credit scores until you start paying on those loans which is usually not until after college.
Think smart and consider the ways you can begin to create a positive credit score during college.
Here are some articles about building a positive credit score for college students: