4 Credit Acquisition Tips for Recent College Graduates

Image source: Getty Images

New to the real world? Here’s how to build a credit history and increase your score.

New to the real world? Here’s how to build a credit history and increase your score.

Congratulations – after years of hard work, you are finally leaving college with a degree in hand. But now comes the most difficult part – adulthood. And if you start it without much credit, you may find it more difficult than expected.

Many people graduate from college with poor or poor credit scores, and part of that is because they don’t have a lot of credit history behind them. But the sooner you can build credit, the better you’ll be able to qualify for an apartment lease, car loan, or credit cardso use these tactics to increase your score as fast as possible.

1. Make your payments on time

If you graduated from college with debt, you actually have a key opportunity to build your credit. Whenever you pay bills on time, this information is transmitted to the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. The more one-time payments you register, the higher your score will increase. Therefore, if you track your payments, you will have an easier time increasing your credit score.

2. Obtain other bills in your name and pay them on time

Many university graduates return home after graduation to save money on rent. It’s a smart move, but one downside is that with your parents in charge of things like utilities and cable, you might not be able to build a payment history. That’s why it’s important to get at least a few bills in your name and pay them on time.

If you have a family cell phone plan, you might consider upgrading to an individual plan so that your name is listed as responsible for that bill. Or offer to pick up your parents’ cable bill — it’s a nice gesture on your part in exchange for free rent, and it gives you a chance to make those crucial payments in a timely manner.

3. Check your credit report regularly

It’s not uncommon for credit reports to contain errors, and if yours has an error that works against you, such as an unpaid debt that you never accrued, establishing credit could prove be an uphill battle. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report each year from all three reporting bureaus, so request these copies online and study them carefully. And if you To do find an error, report it to the office who published the report in question immediately.

4. Get a secure credit card

A secure credit card doesn’t give you much buying power, but it can help you build your credit. With a traditional credit card, you get approved for a certain spending limit based on your creditworthiness. With a secured credit card, you put down a deposit that acts as a credit limit, reducing the risk to the card issuer. If you spend responsibly on this card and pay your bills on time, those payments will be reported to the credit bureaus and will help your credit score.

You may be eager to build up your credit as quickly as possible, but be prepared to be a little patient. Establishing a credit history takes time, and if you’ve never paid your own bills before, it can take months before you see changes in your credit score. Hang in there, because if you employ the tactics above, your score should slowly but surely improve. Once that’s done, you’ll probably find it easier to navigate the next stage of life.

The best credit card erases interest until 2023

If you have credit card debt, transfer it to this top balance transfer card guarantees you an introductory APR of 0% in 2023! Plus, you won’t pay any annual fees. These are just a few of the reasons why our experts consider this card a top choice to help you control your debt. Read the full The Ascent review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.