Congratulations on making it through college! Now it’s time to get yourself together. Once you have a full-time job lined up, you should focus your attention on your financial future. Sounds grown up, huh?! It’s really not that complicated. Building good credit is an important part of your finances. Here are five steps to take towards your goal:
1) Become an authorized user on your parents’ credit card account.
This doesn’t mean your parents have to hand over their credit card and let you go crazy, buy a new iPhone6 and go on a shopping spree. What I would suggest is getting permission to simply use the card for expenses they typically pay for. This way you can take the credit card and fill the family grocery order while building good credit for yourself and pleasing your parents by lending a helping hand. It’s a win, win!
2) Apply for your own credit card.
Just one. Not 10, ONE. You will want to establish credit worthiness by using it to purchase small items that you typically would pay for with cash. Put the cash aside so when the bill arrives, you can pay it off in full each month. Oh, and while we’re on the subject…don’t forget to PAY IT OFF IN FULL each month!
3) Pay bills on time.
This applies to credit card bills along with any other bills you have. Perhaps you have student loans? A cell phone bill? Paying them on time makes a big difference.
4) Apply for a car loan.
Now that you’ve graduated and hopefully have a full-time job, you’re probably ready to buy your own brand new (or used) car. Go for it, and get the loan in your name. Doing this, and paying it on time, will help your credit. It’s good to have a variety of different account types to diversify your credit.
5) Pay attention!
You need to keep track of your finances including your credit card statements and the activity on the account. Make sure there are no mistakes, i.e. a charge that is not yours. There are times where mix ups occur, and you could be charged or penalized for something you didn’t do. If that happens, call your credit card company to straighten things out right away.
Follow these steps and you can take credit for building your own good credit. See what I did there? You know that was funny. Or cheesy, okay.
If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:
Is It Good Debt or Bad Debt?
Establishing Credit for Beginners
5 Actions That Help Your Credit Score