It is hard to start thinking about making life’s biggest purchases such as a house or a car at this point, but believe it or not, it is your personal credit score that will dictate your approval for a mortgage and/or a car loan in the next few years.
So what are we trying to say here, you ask? It’s simple – start building your credit score now! There is nothing better to start building your credit score than student credit cards until you find your first full time job and upgrade your cards.
Follow these few easy rules to start building a strong credit score:
1. Use the Wallet Savvy credit card tool for students to select the best card that meets your individual needs.
2. Apply and obtain the card. Start small: even if you are approved for $500, it’s a great start.
- Make sure you are the primary cardholder -otherwise credit history will not register in your name! If you need a co-signer, that is fine. But remember – if you forget to pay, your co-signer will not be thrilled when they see their own credit score.
3. Start using your credit card and pay attention to these rules:
- Use your credit card every month. If you do not use the credit card your credit score cannot be established.
- Never charge one cent more to your credit than your authorized limit.
- Always pay your full balance at the end of the month 2-5 business days before the Due Date on the statement. If you are late even one day, the credit bureau will pick it up as 30 days late – and nothing kills your credit score like having a few late payments.
-If you are very busy and tend to forget to pay your bills – set up a pre-authorized billing schedule from your chequing account to avoid late payment and fees.
4. Apply for a second credit card 6-12 months after you have maintained your first one in order to reinforce and firmly establish strong credit score. Having one credit card is good but does not allow the banks to see if you can handle multiple credits – you need a minimum of two revolving credit products to establish a solid rating.
5. Enjoy the benefits and rewards the cards have to offer.
You will be forever grateful for establishing a strong credit score early in life. You will see the benefits of this when you purchase your first car, obtain a Line of Credit or even try to lease an apartment or a buy a house.
Share this quick guide with your friends so that they can be Wallet Savvy too. Enjoy and good luck!