Credit Advice for the College Student

If you are a college student, good credit advice can go a long way towards protecting your financial future. Your credit rating is one of the most valuable things you have. If you protect it and build it up slowly, you will save a great deal of money over your adult life. Here are a few things to keep in mind about your credit when you are just getting started.

Watch the Credit Cards

When you first get started, you are bombarded with offers for credit cards. Credit card companies like to latch on to you when you are young and get you involved early. They offer you a nice credit line that looks attractive. You think about all of the things that you could buy with that money for your apartment or dorm room. The thought of a nice big-screen TV on the wall with the latest gaming system attached to it comes to your mind. While you might be tempted to fill up your credit cards, try and stay away from them. Chances are you will dig yourself into a hole that is difficult to get out of. While it is a good idea to get one, you should not let it get you in trouble.

Do Not Finance Everyday Things

If you cannot afford something, then you should not put it on your credit card. If you don't have the money to go out this weekend, then stay at home. The last thing you want to do is get in the habit of borrowing money to fund your lifestyle. If you have to miss out on a few nights of fun, you will be glad that you did later on. Your credit will still be intact and you will not have a large hole to dig yourself out of upon graduation.

Pay Your Bills

One problem that a lot of college students have is forgetting to pay their bills in a timely manner. For many students, this is the first time that they have been away from home. They don't have their parents there to remind them of things anymore. With this increased freedom also comes increased responsibility. Remembering to pay your bills on time will go a long way towards protecting your credit score. Your payment history actually makes up over a third of your credit score. Therefore, you will want to make sure that you pay everything before the due date comes around.

Get a Mix of Credit

While you do not want to overextend yourself, getting a nice mix of credit accounts can actually help you build credit. Having a credit card, an auto loan, and maybe one other form of credit that you rarely use will let the credit bureaus know that you know how to handle your money.

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