What I Wish I Had Known: Building Credit

What I Wish I Had Known: Building Credit

During college my mind was often preoccupied with a variety of thoughts. I thought about which party I should go to, when am I going to find time to write that paper, how early should does the tailgate start; you know the usual. One thing I wish I had paid a little attention to is the benefit of having a good credit score.

A high credit score can make one’s life easier in so many ways. Good credit can lead to better jobs since many employers have begun using credit checks as part of their screening process. Good credit is the key to getting approval for almost any type of loan. The better your credit score, the lower your interest rate will be. For example; say you have a 640 credit score and apply for a 60 month auto loan. You are approved for $10,000 at a rate of 6.20%. Not bad, but if you had a credit score of 700 or more, you would have been approved at a rate of 3.99%. This would save you over $600 in interest over the lifespan of the loan. You can really save on interest when it comes to home loans.

During college you may not be buying cars or houses, but you will eventually. One easy way to help build your credit while in college is to have utility bills in your name and to pay them on time. Approximately 30 percent of your credit score is based on your bill payment history. You can ensure timely payment by setting up automatic payments through your bank. If you have roommates; be sure they are reliable and will pay for their portion of the bills on time.

It may not seem like much to you at the time, but you are helping your future self out. You’ll be very thankful when the day comes to buy your first car or home. With all the money you save on interest; you’ll be glad you spent just a little time learning how to build your credit.

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