70,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points + 5X Points on Eligible Travel & Gas
Best student credit cards

How to Build Credit as a College Student or Young Adult in Canada?

To the point

Do you want to know how to build credit as a student or a young adult? Find out more about factors that can influence your credit score.

Your credit history can impact the rest of your life. A good credit score means that banks will be more likely to give you loans, and buying things like a car or house will be easier for you.

Having good credit will help you to achieve your life’s most significant milestones successfully. As a college student having good credit will help you want to one day, buy a home, car or even get a loan.

So whether you are jetting off to college in the fall or have just graduated, having a strong credit history is crucial to setting up a good life. You should keep in mind that it is *never* too early to start building a good credit history.

Here are a few things you need to remember to build and maintain a good credit score.

What is a credit score?

You’ve undoubtedly heard the term “credit score” a thousand times by now. Building a good credit history can be confusing if you don’t even know what a credit score is.

A credit score is a way in which various financial institutions would rank your risk worthiness. If your score is higher, the better you are ranked. Financial institutions run their businesses on a risk-averse basis. So the more low risk you are, the better they will rank you.

No business wants to do business with someone who has been known to fall back on payments. Or someone with a low credit score. Low credit scores indicate that you will be less likely to pay back the full amount in a timeous manner, if at all. This is a huge risk as a bad credit score can stunt you from achieving goals like buying a house or car in the future.

Businesses and lenders want to know that the risk they are taking by loaning you money will be worthwhile and not wasteful. This is further emphasized by places like car dealerships and people entering a lease agreement with you.

These people want to know that you will pay them what you owe them on time. So the higher your single three-digit credit score is, the better your chances of success with financial institutions.

Factors that can influence your credit score

Your credit score gets based on information that lenders submit to financial credit bureaus, along with your credit reports.

On average, credit scores can range from 300 up to 850! However, several factors can change or affect your credit score. These are factors such as:

  • The amount of debt you have accumulated.
  • How many loans you currently have and the payments you have made towards them.
  • If you have opened any credit cards, and if you have, then how many credit cards you have opened could impact your credit score.
  • How many late payments you have made, and if you have made any payments towards your debt.

Difference factors carry different weights in the financial world. So having a lot of credit cards but making good payments is ranked as better than having one credit card but having made no payments on it.

Building a solid credit score will help set you up with a solid financial footing later in life.

Good credit scores give you the added benefits such as:

  • Lower interest rates in payments that you have to make.
  • A better chance of getting approved for other loans.
  • Higher and better credit limits on your credit cards.
  • More access to a broader selection of credit cards.
  • Your credit score can even impact your insurance payments and whether or not you get approved for an apartment or a house you want to rent.
  • Lastly, even employers find your credit score to be of utmost importance. In some instances, future employers do not hire you if you have a bad credit score.

Your credit score indicates how fiscally responsible you are, which is essential in living a financially stable life.

Building A Good Credit Score For Yourself

Now that you know how crucial a good credit score can be to your standard of living. Here are some simple ways to obtain and improve your credit score:

Always check your credit history

You won’t know how good or bad your credit score is unless you know what it is. You will be flying blind in trying to build a sound financial portfolio for yourself.

If you don’t know how to check your credit score or have never done it before, the credit bureaus probably don’t have much information on you.

Even if this is the case, you should still request a credit report from one of the three major financial credit bureaus. Equifax, Experian, and Transunion are good financial institutions that will help you in this regard.

Checking your credit history and credit score is crucial in more ways than one. Not only will your credit score help you know how many improvements you can still make, but it will also help you to make sure that no fraudulent actions have been taken in your name.

Open a student and secured credit card

You might think that you won’t have access to any credit cards as a student, so building a credit score, but that simply isn’t the case. You can open a student card and apply for a secured card to start building your credit history.

Make timely payments

If you have payments to make, make sure that they are done on time, as this gives you a good rating for your credit score.

Low credit usage

Truthfully having good credit means that you have an even better opportunity to build on your credit score. You will get the chance to get better rewards if you don’t use all of your credit at once.

Suggested Reading