Dear First Year College Student:
Welcome to one of the most exciting and memorable times of your life!
By the time you’re reading this, you’re probably into a good routine with your new school. You’re learning new things. You’re meeting new people, some of whom will become lifelong friends. You’re discovering your own identity – perhaps for the first time away from your parents’ home.
And, you’re making decisions that will impact you for the rest of your life – such as, what topics you’ll study in pursuit of your ideal career.
You may also make some decisions right now that will impact you for the rest of your life even though you may not realize their importance yet! I’m talking about decisions related to borrowing money, getting credit, and (ultimately) building a healthy credit report.
Your credit report is a record of your history of how you handle your debts – how well you pay back money you owe and how consistently you meet your financial obligations.
The decisions you make right now in college that impact your credit report will impact your life for years beyond college. For example, if you fail to pay a credit card right now, it could diminish your credit score, which could make it harder to get a job right out of college, or it could make it harder to get an apartment, or it could cost you thousands of dollars extra in interest when you get a mortgage.
Therefore, even the smallest decision right now during your time at college could help – or haunt! – you for years to come.
Any of the following components could appear on your credit report:
• Your apartment or dorm address
• Student loans
• Car loan
• Credit card
These are often information pertinent to students that appears on credit reports.
By paying your loans and debts on time, will ensure that you create optimum conditions for a healthy credit report.
Avoid maxing out your credit card and skipping payments. All of these can be detrimental to you now and especially in the future.
College is a fun and memorable part of life and you can keep the experience a positive one by ensuring that you always keep one eye on the future and make all credit decisions based on how it may impact your credit in the future.