Maintaining good credit is critical for a successful future. Businesses will review a student's credit history when evaluating requests for loans, insurance, employment, and leases. Creditors may choose to grant or deny requests based on credit history. Forming good financial habits now will not only help graduate students during their college years, but will help them throughout their lifetime.
What is Credit?
Credit history is a record of all of credit cards, loans, and other credit obligations that a student has assumed over a period of time. It shows how much the student has borrowed (or the amount of their credit limit), the number of payments made, and whether they have met the obligations of the repayment terms. Individuals are entitled to one free credit report every year from each of the major credit-reporting agencies in the United States (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion). To receive a free credit report, visit www.annualcreditreport.com.
A credit rating, or FICO score, is a numeric score that reflects one’s ability to repay a loan. It is based on a number of different factors, including:
- Credit history
- Current outstanding debt
- Payment history
- Types of credit
- Places and number of times one has applied for credit
- Over extension of credit lines