What is Student Credit?
It’s never too early to start building credit. While young, you will have several different ways to establish and build credit that is easy to start and maintain. The first way to start establishing credit is to open a checking and/or savings account. This account will not report to any credit bureau, since they report to the widely known ChexSystems, but will help you create a habit of keeping track of your savings and spending. It will also facilitate making payments to the financial institutions you have a relationship with and set up auto-pay if desired.
They are credit bureaus — clearinghouses of information on consumers for creditors. Every time you fill out a credit application, miss or make a payment, or even get a student loan, it is all reported to the credit bureaus. Businesses that are extending credit look to these bureaus to make the best decisions about who to give credit to and who to avoid, helping them make good business decisions and protect their assets. Consumer Credit Reports started as the Associated Credit Bureaus, Inc. in 1906 to provide services such as fraud prevention, risk management, check verification, and collections to the credit bureaus. It all later changed when the Federal Trade Commission and state/federal legislators started to protect their interests and create systems to better audit finances.
There are two types of inquiries, hard and soft. A hard inquiry (also known as “hard pull”) occurs when a financial institution, such as a lender or credit card issuer, checks your credit when making a lending decision. They commonly take place when you apply for a mortgage, loan or credit card, and you have to authorize them. A hard inquiry could lower your scores by a few points, or it may have a negative effect on your scores. In most cases, a single hard inquiry is unlikely to play a huge role in whether you’re approved for a new card or loan. And the damage to your credit scores usually decreases or disappears even before the inquiry drops off your credit reports for good in 2 years.
A soft inquiry (also known as “soft pull”) typically occurs when a person or company checks your credit as part of a background check or to get pre-approved. This may occur, for example, when a credit card issuer checks your credit without your permission to see if you qualify for certain credit card offers. Your employer might also run a soft inquiry before hiring you. Unlike hard inquiries, soft inquiries won’t affect your credit scores. (They may or may not be recorded in your credit reports, depending on the credit bureau.) Since soft inquiries aren’t connected to a specific application for new credit, they’re only visible to you when you view your credit reports.
Paying your bills on time makes up for 35% of your credit score and is essential to creating a fulfilling financial future.
How do I get my free credit report and score from each bureau?
If you have not started your credit history (have a credit card, student loans, etc), then there may not be a credit score ready for you yet, but you can still start monitoring it for FREE using www.creditkarma.com and receive your Transunion and Equifax scores. You can find your Experian report at www.freecreditscore.com.
We would recommend to start by making an account with Credit Karma, that will give you insight into your Transunion and Equifax credit reports and scores. To receive your Experian score, the site www.freecreditscore.com owned by Experian, will give you their report and score for free.
The fastest way to start your credit is to have yourself added to a parent or legal guardians major credit card account as an authorized user, once you activate the card and use it responsibly, it will start reporting on your credit normally within 45 days.
If adding yourself to someones credit card is not an option, then we will seek a secured card. A secured card is a major credit card that requires a cash deposit (minimum of $200) that will become your credit line, meaning that you can charge up to the amount that was deposited. If you have any questions please give us a call and we would be happy to assist.