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Three Reasons Why College Students Should Care About Credit

Apr 10, 2013

We get it, you’re in college and you’re worried about acing your finals, rushing your sorority, and snagging a summer internship, so there’s not a whole lot of room for you to fit in anything else. But what if we told you that all those credit cards you’ve maxed out, credit card payments you’ve ignored, and debt you’ve racked up could hinder your chances of landing your dream job, renting an apartment, or taking out a loan after graduation? The following reveals just a few reasons why it’s important for college students to care about their credit scores sooner than later.

Getting a Job

The nonprofit advocacy group Demos recently reported that employers have denied positions to one in seven job applicants because of their bad credit scores. In fact, in all but eight states, it’s legal for a potential employee to request a copy of the applicant’s credit report during the interviewing process.

Sometimes employees request credit records so that they can make assess the applicant’s level of responsibility toward personal finances. If the applicant has a delinquent credit history, it may be a reflection of how the applicant will behave on the clock at the job. In other words, you could have all the right qualifications of the position, but if your credit score is in the dumps, the employer may assume that you won’t perform well at the company.

You’re studying hard to become the best at your dream occupation, so why ruin your chances of landing the position just because of some bad credit behavior? 

Renting Property

Moving into your first rental property after college is an exciting post-college privilege. You won't have your roomies leaving pizza boxes scattered around the house or your parents breathing down your neck. Not to mention, the perfect apartment you've found is conveniently within walking distance of all of the city's hot spots. You've fallen in love with the complex, and you're all ready to sign on the dotted line, that is, until the landlord as for your credit report.

That's right, your future landlord may want to take a peek at your credit report to make sure you're good on your word. Because if late payments scatter your credit report, your landlord may not trust you to pay rent each month.

Although there are ways to receive rental property with bad credit, such as finding a co-signer with good credit or explaining the reasons for your poor credit history, why not build excellent credit while you're in college and save yourself the extra trouble?

Applying for a Loan

When the time comes for you to borrow money, whether you're shopping around for an auto loan or taking the big step with a mortgage, you better believe such lenders will look into your credit report. Just like the landlord, the lender wants to see if you have a good history of managing your personal finances. When lenders see a poor credit report, they could decide to refuse the applicant or tack on pricey fees and interest rates in the case the applicants defaults. On the other hand, if the credit score is in good standing, lenders usually feel more inclined to reward the applicant with lower more favorable rates.

While these situations may seem far off in the distance while you're currently living up the college life, you should realize that your financial responsibility now can affect those decisions later. To begin on the right path, start by paying bills on time and avoiding maxing out credit cards.

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