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How To Build Your Credit College Student

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Capital One Savorone Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

How to BUILD your credit score as a College Student

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Among cards aimed at students, the $0-annual-fee Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is near the head of the class. It earns 3% cash back in a variety of popular spending categories for students including dining, entertainment purchases, eligible streaming services and grocery store purchases which is a better deal than you’d find on many cards requiring annual fees or sterling credit. Read our review.

Become An Authorized User On A Credit Card

What if you don’t qualify for a credit card because you have no credit history? You may be able to piggy-back off someone else’s credit by becoming an authorized user.

Consider asking a parent or guardian to add you as an authorized user to one of their credit cards. Even if you never charge a single payment, authorized users get a credit boost with one caveat: Only certain credit cards report authorized users to the credit bureaus. While other credit cards might add authorized users, they won’t help your credit score.

Alternatively, you can ask someone to co-sign a credit card. However, that puts their credit on the line should you miss a payment.

Get The Right Credit Card For You

Once youre able to qualify for a regular card on your own, its important to remember that not all credit cards are the same, says Clarky Davis, former spokeswoman for CareOne Credit Counseling, a debt relief service provider based in Columbia, Maryland, and formally known as the Debt Diva.

Before you apply for a credit card, you must do some research to find a card with the most benefits a lower interest rate, no annual fees, reasonable credit limits and clear billing policies, says Davis.

If you think you might carry a balance, go with a no-frills, low interest credit card. A rewards credit card may sound cooler, but the higher annual percentage rate and possible annual fee wont be worth it.

Sullivan says some students should consider starting out with a retail card. Retail cards come with fewer benefits and lower spending limits but using this card and paying the bill regularly will build good credit.

Davis says those who cant qualify for a retail card will need a secured credit card, which is attached to a savings account. However, if you pay the bill responsibly and on time, youll eventually qualify for a regular credit card. That includes student credit cards, products that are directly aimed at consumers who may lack significant borrowing history.

Retail cards come with fewer benefits and lower spending limits, but using this card and paying the bill regularly will build good credit.

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Get A Head Start On A Great Credit Score By Starting Early

  • Earn Credit Card Rewards for Paying Student Loans
  • Whether you’re heading off to college in the fall or recently graduated and set off into the world of work, it isn’t too early to start building a strong credit history. Your credit score, which is based on that history, carries a lot of weight when it comes to some of life’s biggest milestones and by starting now, you can ensure you’ll be on the right side of the equation when the time comes. Here are some ways you can earnand keepa high credit score.

    Things College Students Need To Know About Credit

    How Can a College Student Build Credit?

    For many young adults, college is their first opportunity to manage their own money. And one of their firstand most meaningfullessons is the importance of budgeting and good credit health. Long after graduating and moving on to professional life, credit scores can be a help or hindrance, influencing everything from buying a car to getting an apartment.

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    Consider Whether You Need Student Loans

    If you need financial aid to complete your undergraduate degree, you may want to look into federal student loans.

    Many students and young people encounter a frustrating credit conundrum: It can be difficult to qualify for the best private loans or credit cards with little to no credit history. But how does one build a credit history without those loans and credit cards?

    One way to start is with a federal student loan. While private student loans may require an established credit history, most federal student loans dont require a credit check. That means you can borrow the money you need to pay for school and build your credit by paying back those loans responsibly and on time.

    Research And Open An Account

    When it comes time to open a credit card account, there will be a wide variety of credit cards to build credit for college students. Credit cards can differ in terms of benefits, eligibility, interest rate, and more. Some cards are made to benefit college students specifically, such as student credit cards, or benefit specific kinds of purchases, such as travel cards. Its important that you do your research before you open an account.

    College students are often encouraged to open a credit card account if they are of age and have the resources needed. A credit card can offer a college student much more than an easy way to pay for school supplies. They can also offer financial security, bring peace of mind, and help students establish responsible and strong financial habits.

    When you begin to look for your future credit card, make sure you take your time and find a card that works best for you. Talk to your parents for advice. Allow them to help you research and figure out which card is the right choice.

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    Why Its Wise To Build Credit As A Student

    Building credit might not seem like an urgent priority when you’re still in school, but the earlier you start the clock on your , the better. Having good credit will be important down the road when you want to buy a home or get a car loan, but there are even more immediate benefits. For example, good credit can improve your chances of landing a job or renting an apartment.

    Your credit history, detailed in your credit report and summarized by credit scores, shows how well you’ve handled borrowed money and using a credit card responsibly is one of the quickest and easiest ways to build credit. Among the situations in which good credit comes in handy:

    See and track your credit score

    » MORE: 5 questions on applying for a student credit card

    Petal 2 Cash Back No Fees Visa Credit Card

    4 ways students can build credit

    The Petal 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa starter credit card wants to take to heart peoples thoughts on it being time for a card company to help people succeed financially.

    To heed this call, Petal has used modern technology to design credit card products that help you budget, control your spending, and build credit.

    This card is best for those with thin to no credit files because Petal accepts applicants based on cash flow underwriting alonemeaning no credit history is required.

    And if you have a credit score, you can get the opportunity for acceptance with a fair credit rating, meaning you need a minimum credit score of 600 or better. If you have a credit score of 720 or better, Petal auto-approves your application.

    This credit card issuer reports your payment history to all 3 major credit bureaus, helping you build credit.

    With credit limits as low as $300 and a higher credit line up to $10,000, 2% 10% cash back at select merchants and up to 1.5% cashback on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments, Petal 2 might be an excellent choice to consider as a beginner credit card.

    This credit card charges no fees whatsoever, letting you avoid simply holding the card in your wallet.

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    Monitor Your Credit Score And Report

    As soon as you open any loans or credit accounts, you will have both a credit score and a credit report. You should review these several times a year, ideally every month. There are several free sites such as or will give you a free unofficial credit report and score each month. You can also check to see if your credit card provides a free monthly credit score many cards now do. In addition, each of the major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion will provide you with a free credit report once every 12 months.

    While simply monitoring your credit score and report will not technically improve your credit, it will help prevent errors or fraudulent accounts from ruining your credit. There are countless cases of people being denied for loans, only to find out that someone opened a credit account in their name years before.

    Regularly monitoring your credit report and score will alert you to any new accounts or account changes when they happen instead of years later. Start this habit while you are in college and youll be in great shape in the future. If you do find an error on your credit report, be sure to take the necessary steps to have it corrected.

    Ideas For Building Credit As A College Student

    College students have several options to build their credit, including becoming an authorized user and making early student loan payments.

    Edited byAshley HarrisonUpdated October 7, 2021

    Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner lenders, whom we will always identify, all opinions are our own. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS # 1681276, is referred to here as “Credible.”

    If youre wondering how to build credit as a college student, youre on the right track. After all, your credit score comes into play everywhere from applying for private student loans to filling out an application to rent an apartment. This is because your credit score allows lenders to get an idea of your entire credit history with just one number .

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    How To Build Great Credit As A College Student

    Becoming financially independent is exciting, but learning how to do so can be challenging. Building good credit is a must: It will help you qualify for loans, auto insurance, mortgage, rental applications, cell phone plans, credit cards and can even impact job prospects. Building a solid credit history early is going to give you a jump start down the road. According to FICO, 15% of your credit score is based on the length of your credit history. So the earlier you begin building your credit, the better off youll be.

    Good credit can open up financial possibilities that are otherwise hard to achieve, so it makes sense to start building good credit as soon as possible. College can be a great time to work on building a credit score from scratch as long as you go about it the right way. The sooner you start building your credit, the more time you have to work towards building a great credit score. Here are five ways you can begin to build your credit.

    First off lets look into what goes into your credit score.

    It may be tough to earn a high credit score without understanding how youre being graded. The FICO score, the most commonly used credit scoring model, uses a weighted model. That means that some components are more important than others. The breakdown of a FICO score is:

    • 35 percent payment history
    • 15 percent length of credit history
    • 10 percent types of credit used
    • 10 percent new credit

    How To Avoid A Bad Credit Rating

    How to Build Your Credit as a College Student [5 Tips ...

    There are a few small things to be aware of that might be damaging your student credit score without you even realising:

  • Never use your credit card to withdraw cash at an ATM Not only are interest rates on this completely ludicrous, but it’ll show up on your credit report, too. Withdrawing cash using a credit card gives the impression you’ve had to resort to emergency measures, spending cash that isn’t yours as a consequence of bad budgeting.
  • Never take out a payday loan Of course, we already know how terrible payday loans are for your long-term bank balance. But just having them appear in your credit report looks terrible to lenders, and taking out a payday loan is arguably one of the worst things you can do for your credit score.
  • Never pay out for what’s advertised as a ‘credit repair service’ Essentially, there’s nothing that these companies can do that will help you . Don’t waste your money on these guys.
  • Don’t hold on to any old store cards This is especially true if you’re not still using them! We’re not fans of store cards anyway, but if you’re seen to have heaps of credit sitting around and not being used, this can be damaging too.
  • Hopefully, we’ve shed at least a tiny bit of light on the complex mystery otherwise known as the world of credit scoring. We know this stuff can be a bit of a headache, but you’ll get there!

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    Consider Student Loan Refinancing

    Keeping your student loans in good standing is a great way to build credit. But managing multiple loans can be overwhelming.

    If you want to make your loans more manageable, you could consider student loan refinancing. Refinancing means youll make one loan payment rather than many different ones. If you qualify, you could save by reducing your interest payments.

    Refinancing can help keep your payments on track. Thatll help you build good credit.

    Ways To Build Credit With A Credit Card

    There are three critical points to remember:

  • Avoid accumulating interest. Its a myth that you need a balance on your card to build your credit. By paying off your balance in full every month, you avoid accruing interest, which can really dig you into a hole and get you into a bad cycle of always having debt.
  • Make payments on time, every time. Late payments are the biggest detriment to your credit score. If youre not going to make payments on time, avoid getting a credit card. Late payments will hurt your score worse than not having a credit score at all. Even if you only can make the minimum payment that month, be sure to make the minimum on time every time. Nothing wrecks your credit more than a late payment.
  • Dont overspend. This is a good tip for two reasons. First, by not spending more than you have, you cant dig yourself into debt that youre unable to pay off. Second, credit utilization is a factor for your credit score. Try not to use more than 30% of your available credit to remain in good standing.
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    How To Check And Improve Your Credit Score

    Confused or concerned about your credit rating ? We’ve got everything you need to know plus tips to improve your score.

    Credit: james weston , MisterEmil , Aaron Amat Shutterstock

    There tends to be a whole lot of confusion involved when it comes to credit scores and to be honest, that’s really not surprising.

    What we do know, however, is that having a good credit score is really important, particularly if you ever want to apply for anything like a mortgage or .

    These things might seem a bit far into the future to be thinking about now, but the key to building a great credit score is to get started on improving it nice and early.

    We’re here to fill you in on exactly why your student credit rating matters so much, and how to get working on improving it.

    Open A Secured Credit Card

    How to BUILD Credit Score for College Students

    A secured credit card is another option for building credit if you dont have a credit history or if your credit score took a hit at some point. You are almost guaranteed to be approved for a secured credit card because of the way a secured card is set up.

    Much like a debit card, a secured credit card is backed up by your own cash, paid in the form of a deposit. This deposit will serve as part or all of your credit limit. The difference, however, between a secured credit card and a debit card is that secured credit card activity is reported to credit bureaus. Using your secured card to make small daily purchases is a great way to build your credit score and have access to unsecured credit cards in the future.

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    Apply For Low Limit Unsecured Credit Cards

    If you have developed good money habits and think you can handle a line of credit, you may want to start with a low-limit unsecured credit card.

    You have several options like a student credit card, gas card, or another low-balance credit card available from credit card companies.

    These are all great options if your children attend college and need a credit card that works for expenses away from home.

    Likewise, the unsecured card option works for young adults who work full-time and need a way to access credit while possibly earning rewards, cashback, or other benefits from using unsecured credit cards.

    You can apply for a card like the Petal One or Petal Two credit cards. These cards have low initial credit limit options, offer cashback, and avoid annual feesall features you should look for in a first card.

    These types of cards can help with beginning to build a credit history. Further, if your children will have student loans, these will factor into their credit history and build a credit profile for lenders to evaluate future credit needs.

    However, if youd like the card to be under their name and they are underage, theyll need to look first at getting a prepaid debit card for kids and teens.

    Further, you might consider a college student credit card like Petal 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa Credit Card.

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