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Study Your Way To A Strong Financial Future

University is a watershed moment as you suddenly find yourself with a new sense of freedom and independence. It is also an important learning curve as you discover how to manage this freedom with a growing sense of responsibility. Most students are likely to make a few mistakes along the way, and hopefully learn from them. When it comes to finances however, you might find yourself living with these mistakes for a long time.

Image taken from studenttimes.org

Going to university can be expensive and so it is tempting to borrow more and more money. Some borrowing is inevitable and if managed properly can be a good thing for your credit history. Here are some positive ideas on how to build your credit score whilst you study.

  • Credit cards; you might be trying to avoid credit card debt but having a credit card and managing it responsibly is a great way of building a strong credit history.  You can start by being an authorized user on your parent’s account.  The benefits of this is that they can help you monitor your spending and you can start building a good credit rating. Once you are ready to move on to your own credit card establish good financial habits such as paying off the full balance,  never missing a payment and only using it for emergency purchases rather than everyday living. These habits will last a lifetime and could help you get the home, job and life you dream of so practice now for a better financial future.
  • Credit-builder loan; as the name suggests this is a loan that helps you build credit by holding onto the borrowed money until you have paid off the loan in full. This demonstrate a commitment to regular debt payment, establishes good saving habits and if you never miss a payment it will reflect on your credit score. You can use the loan once the money is realised to put down a deposit on an appartment, travel or pay off your credit card.
  • Debt consolidation; one way of managing the inevitable debt of studying is to consolidate any loans into one monthly manageable payment.  There are plenty of private student loan debt consolidation companies on the market so you can choose the right deal for you.  Debt consolidation not only helps with the affordability of debt meaning you are less likely to miss payments it also pays off old debt helping to boost your credit history.
  • Get a cosigner; if you just can’t get credit because you have no credit history yet then another way of demonstrating financial responsibility is to borrow money with a cosigner.  You have responsibility to pay the loan back and how you manage it will reflect on your credit score however the loan is assessed on the cosigner’s credit history so you are more likely to get approved.  This does pose a risk to the cosigner who ultimately will have to pick up the bill if you default so if you don’t want to leave your loved ones with a big debt keep practising those good financial habits.