How to Start Building Credit After College

graduated-college-imageYou’ve done it! You graduated college! Now that you have that diploma and you’re ready to take on the real world, it’s time to take a look at your finances. While it seems like a daunting task, take some time to develop a full understanding of your financial situation to set yourself up for success. With everything you’ll need to accomplish after graduation, building a great credit score is extremely important and will be with you throughout your life. Nowadays, almost every application you turn in, whether it’s for a new apartment or job, your credit score could play a factor. So, where do you begin on building your credit?

Be Selective With Your Credit Cards

A good way to start building your credit is to get a credit card. While this seems simple enough, you need to be careful when choosing which credit cards to apply for. Take your time shopping around; compare interest rates, annual fees and card features. When applying, make sure you aren’t requesting too many cards at once. It may seem logical to give yourself more opportunity, but having multiple inquiries out at the same time can lower your credit score.

Use Your Cards Wisely

Once you have a credit card, it’s time to use it! Since you are the sole handler of the credit cards, the expenses and responsibility fall on your shoulders. Make sure to use these cards wisely and sparingly. It’s important to understand that you’ll be building your credit history with these cards. Be strategic with handling the cards and plan out your finances with these expenses in mind.

Pay Your Bills On Time

Your payment history makes up 35% of your credit score. When using your card, keep this in mind. Will you be able to pay this off promptly when you receive your statement? A trick is to set up alerts and use online payments to make sure you’re paying on time.

Keep Tabs On Your Credit Report 

Now that you have a basic understanding of building up good credit, consistently monitor your credit report. This will allow you to see firsthand your hard work paying off. It’ll be rewarding seeing your credit score rise up with all of your efforts. Having a good credit score helpslead to success in your future. Now’s the time to get started!

If you have any questions about building your credit score or about credit cards we have available, please give us a call at 800-325-3400 or ask one of our Member Advisors in the branch.

We are here to help you on your financial journey.