Photo (cc) by John-Morgan
The average college student now graduates with more than $2,000 in debt. Obviously, keeping a clean credit history and a high credit score isn’t part of the regular curriculum.
First, establish credit by piggybacking on parents. As an “authorized user” on a parent’s credit card, you’ll share their credit history (hopefully, it’s good).
Then, get a cell phone in your name. Paying the bill every month will give the credit reporting agencies something to talk about.
Now apply for a credit card in your own name. Use it occasionally, even if you don’t need to.
But…. pay it off every single month, on time, without fail. Don’t let yourself miss payments and don’t forget about any other bills you might have (rent, phone, utilities), because anyone who fronts you money can potentially hurt your credit rating.
And try to keep your student loans to a minimum. Only borrow for educational expenses and only when you absolutely have to. If you do borrow money, make sure you find the loan with the best rate. The last thing any college graduate needs is a bunch of debt.