Building Credit As a Student
As our previous blog post stated, even if you are not 18 yet, it is never too early to start building your credit. Having a good credit score is critical in today’s society even as a student. Credit is the final determinant of whether you are approved for a loan, what interest rates you are approved for, and your ability to rent an apartment if you move off campus.
One of the easiest ways to start building your credit history is to get a credit card. If you are under 18 then you will need a parent to help you in order to get approved. A credit card, when used strategically, can help you set a solid foundation for your credit.
The higher your credit score, the better your credit. There are simple steps to ekep in mind that guarantee a higher credit score and a better credit card experience.
Choose a card that works for you
Get a credit card that works for you. In order to entice you to sign up for their cards, many credit card companies offer incentives to attract your business. While it may be an attractive offer to sign up for a card that gives you special deals at your favorite stores, there are better alternatives you should consider that will help you immensely in the long run. When signing up for a credit card keep the following in mind:
- Are you studying abroad? Many cards have benefits for travelers. A lot of cards offer "miles" that can help cover the costs of your flight. Others even offer no foreign transaction fees, flight insurance, and so on and so forth, cutttind down on some of the stress of traveling.
- Do you have educational loans? Some cards, like Upromise by Sallie Mae, allow you to earn "cash back" towards paying off your educational debt.
Remember the due dates
Over 1/3 of your credit score is based on your payment history. That being said it is imperative that you pay on time. Many credit cards allow you to authroize text and/or email alerts to notify you when your account needs attention. Credit card companies also often offer automatic payment features so tha tyou never skip a payment! If you are more old fashioned, you can also use your calendar either on your phone or on the wall!
Pay off your Balances Every Month
As a young person who is just starting to establish credit, you may be subject to high interest rates (around 25%). With high interest rates looming in the distance, it is imperative that you do not carry a balance, or your debt will sneak up on you and you will be in credit card debt. In order to ensure you can afford your balance every month treat your credit card like your debit card. With your debit card you would not spend more than you could afford in your checking account or you suffer the consequences. If you spend too much on your credit card, even though you will not be charged an overdraft fee, you will still subject yourself to serious risks and may end up owing much more.
Do not apply for Multiple Accounts
Getting approved for more than one credit card in a short amount of time has an adverse affect on your credit. For now, if you get approved for a card, pace yourself before opening up another or closing the existing account.
Do not get a Credit Card and Let it Sit in a Drawer for All Eternity
Building credit means that you have to use your credit card. In order to build credit you need to have a payment history. That does not mean that you have to use your credit card for all of your purchase,s but it is important to take it out and use it (even on small purchases) every so often.
If other forms of financial aid are exhausted, such as scholarships and grants, then you can use loans to cover the remainder of your Cost of Admission (COA). On our website we discussed the Loan Borrowing Order: Federal Perkins Loan - 5% Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan - 4.29% (No interest while attending university) Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan - 4.29% (Accrues interest while attending university) PLUS Loan - 6.84% Alternative Student Loans - Based on credit (typically a higher rate than federal loans) When you are down to your last option, alternative student loans, there are lots of important things to keep in… Read more here!
College is a serious financial undertaking. At first glance college can look like an unaffordable venture. However, there are multiple vehicles that can help you attend your goal institution without fear of not being able to afford it. These vehicles include scholarships, grants, and student loans. Despite the existence of financial aid, the anxiety of affording school can afflict students and their families up until the summer as they wait for their financial aid packages to be released! Applying for student aid through FAFSA and the CSS Profile is like playing the lottery - except everybody is a winner. Like… Read more here!
The CSS Profile stands for the College Scholarship Service Profile.. It is an online application offered by the College Board for nonfederal financial aid. The CSS Profile is used by almost 300 colleges, universities, professional schools, scholarship programs, and scholarships. Similar to the FAFSA, this application considers student and parent financial information in order to signify how much nonfederal financial aid the student is elibigle.However, the information you’ll need to provide for the CSS Profile is much more in depth than the FAFSA. Also dissimilar to the FAFSA, this application is not free. The CSS Profile has a $9 base Fee and it… Read more here!
Early Decision and Early Acceptance Early Decision and Early Acceptance plans are two avenues that can get high school students into their top school. Applicants who apply earlier have a higher chance of being accepted to their chosen institution. Early applications can help students get into reach schools like Stanford University (CA), Boston College (MA) and Yale University (CT) amongst other top institutions in throughout the country. Sounds pretty good, right? Before starting your early application process make sure to consider the following: There is a difference between Early Decision and Early Acceptance Plans Early Decision applications are “binding,” meaning… Read more here!
10 Dorm Supplies You Didn't Know You Needed Bedside Caddy Use a bedside caddy to keep important supplies nice and close by. Hide your remote, favorite read, or wahtever you want at arms length at all times! Backrest Pillow Backrest Pillows, Husband Pillows, Bedrest Pillows, or wahtever you call them! When desks get cramped and chairs just do not give you the comfort you require while reading a textbook, writing a scholarship essay, or applying for the FAFSA, this type of pillow is a must for your dorm room! Comfortable and supportive, they leave you without neckpain during a cram session. … Read more here!
As our previous blog post stated, even if you are not 18 yet, it is never too early to start building your credit. Having a good credit score is critical in today’s society even as a student. Credit is the final determinant of whether you are approved for a loan, what interest rates you are approved for, and your ability to rent an apartment if you move off campus. One of the easiest ways to start building your credit history is to get a credit card. If you are under 18 then you will need a parent to help you in… Read more here!
Scholarship Tips and Tricks: Advice from a Scholarship Winner Summertime is great. It's a time for freedom, a time to ease up on your academic course load, and a time for you to generate some money for college. Summer is an ideal time to apply for scholarships, to avoid having to take out educational loans for the school year. "Scholarship" brings both a sense of optimisn and an overwhelmingly daunting feeling for students. Everyone wants a scholarship, but due to the time involvement and their competitive nature, they can be discouraging. With such a competitive environment, how can you ensure that… Read more here!
The FAFSA helps provide funding for eligible students to make college more affordable. Filling out the FAFSA correctly and completely is of the utmost importance to be considered for substantial financial aid. WIth the FAFSA deadline quickly approaching (June 30th), it is imperative that all necessary adjustments, or corrections, are made. While going through your FAFSA with a fine-tooth comb, keep the following quick tips in mind: Federal Deadline for FAFSA Corrections is June 30th, 2016 You use your FSA ID to log in to your account, then click Make FAFSA Corrections to begin the editing process Check and make sure your… Read more here!
Going back to school shopping for yourself may not have been what you thought you’d be doing 20 years ago. But, with the ever changing job market there has been a drastic increase in adults returning to school to complete a wide variety of degrees. Some things have changed since the last time you attended class - one of the most notable changes being the ever-rising cost of tuition. However, one thing has remained constant, that financial aid is available to help make college affordable. In fact, there are more financial aid options available to you than your younger counterparts.… Read more here!
Categories: Financial Aid | Grants | Scholarships | Student Loans | Work Study | Financial Aid Applications | FAFSA | Go Financial Aid
Tags: adult student fafsa financial aid going back to school non-traditional student
Missing the FAFSA Deadline So you missed the FAFSA deadline. What now? First, deep breath. Second, keep reading. Affording college seems out of reach, but have no fear because there are more opportunities for you to get money for college. In order to make sure that you do not miss out on federal aid next year, make sure that you partner with Go Financial Aid and fill out the FAFSA on time and correctly. Scholarships There are a multitude of scholarships available for students to help afford college. There are scholarships based on your unique interests, field of study, minority… Read more here!