Think you’re too young to worry about your credit history? Think again! Credit history can open doors. One day you’ll need a loan to buy something big like a car or a house. To do this, you’ll need a positive credit history. The earlier you learn good credit habits, the better.
FOLLOW THESE TIPS:
LIMIT YOUR CREDIT.For many young people, the first type of credit you’ll have is a low-rate credit card. When you get your first credit card, use it cautiously. Remember, the primary reason for having a credit card is to establish a positive credit history. This isn’t free money, you’ll have to pay it all back, plus interest.
BE SURE TO PAY YOUR BILLS ON TIME.Most lenders charge a late fee when your payments aren’t made on-time. This will cost you money and may even increase the amount you must pay on interest. Also, payments later than 30 days past
due can adversely affect your credit history.
AVOID MINIMUM PAYMENT TEMPTATION.When you receive your credit card statement, you’ll see two numbers that jump out at you: your balance and your minimum payment. Pay the entire balance whenever possible. By only making the minimum payment, your interest charges will begin to add up, putting you deeper into debt.
AVOID EXCESS CREDIT APPLICATIONS.Each time you apply for credit, your score may decrease just a bit. Too many applications can be damaging, so only seek loans and credit you truly need.
WHY IS MY HISTORY IMPORTANT?You will need a glowing credit history and score for a few things you will probably want in the near or distant future:
- Buying a vehicle. Getting a good financing deal requires a good credit history.
- Getting a cell phone. If your credit history is poor, you may be denied a cell phone contract.
- Renting an apartment. Many landlords use credit reports to determine responsibility and to see if you have too much debt to afford the rent.
- Getting a job. As with renting an apartment, an employer will look at your credit report to see how responsible you are.
- Qualifying for low insurance rates. You won’t be offered the lowest car insurance premiums if you have a low credit score.
- Buying a home. Yes, one day you may want to buy your own home, and in order to get the best interest rate on a mortgage, or even be able to get one at all, you’ll need a great credit history.
Did you know that you should check your credit reports for accuracy at least annually? To access your annual free reports you can contact: Annual Credit Report Request Service www.annualcreditreport.com • (877) 322-8228
How you handle your money and finances can have a huge impact on your life. AMP Teen Club is for Jolt members between the ages of 13 and 17 who want to make, save, spend, and borrow money the smart way. Check out AMP Teen Club on Instagram and Facebook to stay connected with all things AMP.