Applying for a credit card after getting out of college can be tricky sometimes. In the past, you could get a student credit card or use your parents credit card(Authorized). But now you have to take into account a lot of other factors that might sound new to you.
Positive credit history is one such factor that credit card companies use to determine whether you will be a good customer or not. Failing to pay your bills or late payment will definitely hurt your reputation as a credit card user.
Here are the 5 ways a new college grad can build credit. As already said, there are many factors which you need to consider but these are the most important.
1) Pay your bills on time
This is the most obvious ways for a college grad to build a positive credit history. By paying your bills on or before time, you can avoid any penalties from the credit card companies. This will not only cut your overall interest but also help raise your FICO score. Credit card bureaus like Equifax and Experian collaborate with the credit card companies to maintain the FICO score of the user.
2) Get a credit card as soon as your graduate
You cannot have a positive credit history without owning a credit card. For a new college grad, there are plenty of good credit card plans available. Apply for a credit card that has no annual fee, low-interest rates, lenient credit history requirements and a low APR(Annual Percentage Rate). Another safe way to build credit is to apply for a secured credit card. These prepaid cards help you build credit even with a bad credit history.
3) Clear your student loan
Your student loan also influences your credit score. The faster you pay off your student loan the higher you will see your credit score go. There are many ways to clear your student loan faster. One way is to get a job and allocate a major chunk of your salary to repay your loans. This might seem harsh at first but you can cut down your overall interest by more than 30 percent.
4) Review your credit report for errors and mistakes
It’s possible that your student credit company made some errors in calculation. If such an error gets caught in the future when you apply for a new credit card, you may get into unnecessary trouble. Worst case scenario, your application for a credit card will be denied immediately. So, thoroughly check your credit reports with the help of a calculator. Don’t forget to notify the credit bureaus if you find any discrepancies.
5) Keep a close eye on your credit score
As already stated, keeping a high FICO score is very important. Your credit card application is more likely to get approved if you maintain a FICO score of more than 600. Moreover, this score can vary depending on how responsible you are when it comes to paying your credit card bills. So, always keep an eye on your FICO score.
Since you want a credit card just for the sake of maintaining good credit, don’t use it to buy expensive things. Make a few purchases each month and pay the bill immediately after you are done with your shopping. Your credit history will determine how banks will treat you in the future. So, try to maintain a FICO score as high as possible.