Good Morning Green Panda friends. Today we are discussing how a good credit score can make your life a little bit easier as well as the ways that you can get a good credit score while still in college.  There are several benefits to having a good credit score and honestly it can make your life a lot easier.  However the opposite is also true, if you are irresponsible with your student loans and credit cards then having a poor credit score can be your worst nightmare.

Having a good credit score can help you be approved for other credit products such as personal loans, a mortgage loan, and overdraft protection.   Having a poor credit score can prevent you from renting an apartment, getting a job, and leasing a car. So it’s safe to say that having a good credit score is very helpful for both your financial and your personal lives.

Tips to get a good credit score:

1. Get a credit card with a low limit. College students don’t have a lot of income and they probably don’t have a very big budget. If you are applying for your first credit card I suggest starting with a $500 limit, this will ensure that you don’t get into too much debt while you are still in college and living on a student budget.  It is important to note that prepaid credit cards do not help build a good credit score.

2. Learn about financial responsibility. Being financially responsible means paying your bills on time each month, making late payments on your all of your monthly bills such as your cell phone and cable bills may be reported to the credit bureau and they can harm your credit score.  If you cannot afford to pay your bills each month then don’t sign up for that service. If you can’t afford to pay your cable bill then don’t have cable.

3. Talk to your bank. Many banks offer account and service packages for students.  You may be automatically approved for a free bank account and a free credit card just for being a student.  You may also be automatically approved for a student loan or a line of credit based on your program of study. Banks have great online resource centers where you can get information about building a good credit score, using your credit card responsibly, and the rewards benefits associated with your credit card.

4. Make your life easy. Don’t complicate things with several different credit cards and several different credit card companies.  Apply for one credit card with your existing bank and start building your good credit score. Using a credit card is very easy and it can be very basic if you make your life easy.  Use your credit card once a month and pay off the balance in full to build a good credit score.  If you can’t afford to pay off your credit card balance in full each month try to pay off as much as you can and try to keep the outstanding balance less than half of the total credit limit.

What was your first credit product?

Photo by moneyblognewz