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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Financial Aide: Take care of your credit score

Peyton McKenzie

I think I’m the only college student I know who regularly checks their credit score.

I opened my first credit card the day I turned 18 and was ecstatic to start buying whatever I wanted with a limit of $1,000. I soon realized that my spending habits were a little tricky to control once the next month came and all my Target purchases needed to be paid back.

With the card came a credit score, something that was completely new to me. I only knew it was a fun-colored dial that popped up every time I logged into my bank, and that I wanted the arrow to be in the green sector, but I wasn’t sure why.

A credit score is a prediction of your credit behavior, like how likely you are to pay back your debt, and it follows you for the rest of your life, per the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

This means that not only was my score predicting my timeliness of paying back my purchases, but loaners would also see the score when I applied for college loans later that year, and when I bought my first car in June 2023.

There are a lot of things that affect your credit score, but the simplest breakdown is as follows: score rating, payment history, credit usage, account mix, credit age and inquiries, per Nerd Wallet.

These measure your creditworthiness based on your score, how often you pay back your credit, how much of your credit you use, how many installment accounts you have (like credit cards, loans or real estate), how long you’ve been using credit and how many times outside institutions requests to view your credit file.

Your score can fluctuate frequently, and once you start taking an interest in it, one of the hardest things to adjust to is that changes may take time, especially when it comes to credit age. Institutions are less likely to loan you money if you’re new to the credit world, because they haven’t determined if you’re trustworthy enough to pay off your debt yet.

Young credit age can really bring down your score and there’s not much you can do about it.

Credit scores are a lot of give and take, but they can be super beneficial later in life. If you’re just starting your credit journey, I highly recommend opening a Capital One account because it is simple to use and has a credit card designed especially for students.

Being vigilant and making sure you pay back the money you borrow and limit how many accounts you open over a short period of time are a few easy tips to maintain a good score.

If you’re thinking about opening a credit card, start now. It’s never too late to start your credit journey. The sooner you start, the better, because it takes a while to build a solid score.

Having good credit could be what tips the scales for your future purchases, so start now and score big later.

DISCLAIMER: This piece is strictly based on the opinions and experiences of the writer and should not be viewed as a substitute for professional financial advice.

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About the Contributors
A.J. Newth
A.J. Newth, Opinion Editor
Peyton McKenzie
Peyton McKenzie, Creative Director

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