Building Credit from the Ground Up

Turned down for credit cards in the past, or scared that you will be? This post is for you.
Turned down for credit cards in the past, or scared that you will be? This post is for you.

A friend of mine asked me for some advice the other day. She admitted to me that she hadn’t ever had a credit card, but was starting to think it might be a good idea to start building her score. She is certainly not alone! A whopping 63% of millenials have never had a credit card (read more). She, like many others, has always felt she gets along just fine without one. She also mentioned to me concerns that using credit cards would make her more cavalier with her spending, citing recent studies like this one. While these were very valid considerations, equally valid are the advantages of building a good credit score. My friend decided that at this point in her life, it might be good to start building her score to prepare for her future. However, having been rejected for the first card she applied for through her banker, she wasn’t sure how to proceed. Read more to find out the strategy I laid out to help my friend get started in the world of credit, despite her lack of previous cards and existing student loan debt. Continue reading

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Your Credit Score and You

Do you know your score?

With the birth of online credit score tracking on sites like CreditKarma, CreditSesame, and Mint, everyone wants to find out: what’s my number? However, many of us have no idea what that number means. In this post, I’ll cover the following topics:

  • How Your Credit Score Works
  • Why You Should Care, and How Much You Should Care
  • How to Improve Your Score
  • How to Check Your Score

Credit scores are a great way to keep yourself in good standing with various lending institutions. They also help you protect yourself from credit fraud and identity theft. Sometimes even your landlord will care about your credit score when deciding whether or not to let you rent an apartment, using it as a heuristic for trustworthiness. Clearly, it’s important, and is an essential part of learning to handle your finances as an adult.

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