We know you work hard to make sure your academic transcript is in good shape. But another transcript that needs to be in good shape is your financial transcript (credit report). You start laying the foundation of your credit history the first time you borrow.
The only way to establish a credit history is to start buying on credit. It reveals your ability to pay for things that you buy or use.
Below are a few ways that you can start building good credit:
Do not get pinned down by your credit. Start Using Credit Wisely and save yourself thousands of dollars in the long run.
The three national credit bureaus are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Think of the credit bureaus as the Registrar's Office.
They collect two types of information about you:
Lots of people care about your credit score. Can we trust you? That is the questions that a lender will answer based on your credit. Credit is your "financial trustworthiness". Your credit record is the most important factor lenders consider when you apply to borrow money. Lenders will offer you better terms and lower interest rates if you have good credit ratings.
It matters when you are:
You are entitled to one free copy from each of the credit bureaus each year thanks to the Fair and Accurate Transaction (FACT) Act.
The federal government established a website to obtain a FREE copy of your credit report or you can call (877) 322.8228. It is a good idea to order your report to ensure the accuracy of the information being reported. Since you own the data, you want it to be correct. If there are errors on it, contact the credit bureau and they will file a dispute with the creditor. Because each of the reports covers essentially the same information, it makes sense to request them one at a time — say one in January, one in May, and one in September. That way, you'll catch any problems early.
Note: Other sites with catchy jingles may offer a free report, but you may be required to sign up for other services.