Building Credit As a College Student
Lindsay Saldebar, College Student
Why I Joined RentReporters:
Like many people my age, I graduated from high school and started college. As a college student, most of my time is focused on studying, pursuing extracurricular activities, and spending time with friends – and just as important to my undergraduate experience, I am living on my own for the ﬁrst and gaining newfound independence as a young adult.
Growing up, my parents taught me to take responsibility for my actions, and for me, this includes being ﬁnancially responsible. But the reality is that when making the transition from living at home to living on campus, I am still dependent on my parents while also learning through trial and error…like when it comes to understanding the importance of credit. In fact, when I applied for my ﬁrst credit card without someone to co-sign, I was denied, and what I learned then was that I could not get a credit card because I had no credit. I was “credit invisible.”
Until then, the only understanding of credit I had was that if I wanted to buy a house or get a car one day, I would need a good credit score to get a good deal. My parents had basic conversations with me about credit, but nothing deep enough so that I could make a change for myself. And so, at that point, I knew that if I wanted to take responsibility for my ﬁnancial independence, I would need to start learning about the importance of credit, how to start building credit, and how credit can help me get what I want in life.
I signed up for RentReporters in July 2016, and they reported my rent going back to August 2015. In less than 48 hours, I went from being credit invisible to a credit score of 658!
RentReporters has played an important role in my credit education. For instance, until RentReporters, I didn’t know that rent payments could be reported to improve your credit score. And for college students, that’s a really big deal.
After Joining RentReporters:
With my new credit score, I was able to apply and be approved for my ﬁrst credit card. For me, this was an important milestone. As an adult, I am learning to be ﬁnancially independent, and now, I’m able to buy what I need without help. I’m learning how to take responsibility for my ﬁnances and am on track to building my credit score. This is important because I’m now able to plan for the future.
My Experience with RentReporters:
Many people my age are not thinking about getting better interest rates on loans, ﬁnding a better apartment after graduation, and being be billed for utilities rather than having to pre-pay. And if we wait until we graduate to start thinking about the importance of credit, and how it aﬀects our ability to live our lives and get what we want in life, it’s too late.
RentReporters provides so many important educational resources and a way for people to start building a credit score. Without RentReporters, I would not have a credit score, but now, I’m on my way to building my credit history.
Lindsay is Chief Brand Ambassador for RentReporters. Brand Ambassadors are college students who have an opportunity to change fellow student’s lives and earn money.