Sunday, January 22, 2012

Paying rent can now raise your credit score

College students, take note! If you are living off-campus paying rent in an apartment, it can be good for your credit score.

Only one credit agency is reporting it, however. Experian started doing it in December 2011. Also, the property manager or management company needs to upload the report. If your apartment is a rather large complex, or one of many managed by the same company, it is probably easier to see that it gets uploaded. Just ask!

If a college student is indeed paying rent, and it gets uploaded to your file, VantageScore will count it and factor it in to your credit score. VantageScore is the one that is used by Experian.

If your name is on the lease or rental agreement, you get the credit. This is actually a way for parents to help their college student get a good credit score. Just make sure the student's name is on the lease. That way, even if you are sending money, or financial aid package covers it, the student still benefits. Nobody knows who is coming up with the cash. has a similar service, but it will cost you. You pay a small fee to set it up, as well as a monthly fee. Your landlord will upload your rental data to them, and they will send it out to credit companies. If your landlord or manager does not want to participate, you are refunded the money.

College students especially can benefit from rental credi.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Credit Card Myths: College Students Beware

Establishing credit and keeping it stellar is the goal of every college graduate. No matter where you are in life, your credit score will affect lots of what you do. From buying a house, to maybe getting a job. Recently they are getting businesses to remove the credit check from new hires. But this may effect a background check if you are trying to get a job where your credit and personal finances matter. There are a lot of myths as far as credit cards and raising your credit score. Beware, especially college students. Don't make mistakes on your credit rating.

You do not need to carry a balance to keep a good credit rating. Agencies look at how much you have used in regard to how much overall credit you have. The higher the ratio, the more it will lower your credit score. Payoff anything you can.

The next myth is an add-on to the above. People seem to think that by just making payments on time, it will raise your score. It's true that NOT paying will lower it, but just making the minimum payment each month does not do much. In fact, it keeps your balance ratio high. (See above.)

When applying for some sort of credit, you might inquire as to what credit score will be used. There are many different rating agencies and scores, and depending on the credit, a different one may be used. Be sure to know what your credit score is on the one that will be used.

If you have old balances that are late, even in arrears, it will not help to pay them off in a lump sump sum. The negative mark is already there and won't be removed until the set amount of time has passed. It is true, however, that you cna make a note on your record that says you paid it off. This may help in a manual review of your credit.

Your income does not have anything to do with your credit rating. This may seem strange, but it is absolutely true. A high income can have just a low of credit score as low income, and the opposite is true as well. Lower income people may have a higher rating. It all depends on YOUR credit record. It is true, that loan and credit officers will look at your income to see if you will be able to pay the credit balance off.

Don't think that a department store credit card will do anything major either. In fact, it may have the opposite effect. Department stores and companies generally give a lower credit limit. People have a tendency to max this out. This will actually lower your score, as the balance is high to the total. Department stores are an easier way of getting credit and establishing it, but to make it work you need to have a low balance in relation to the limit.

>>More tips for college students and credit cards.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What to do if you are short on financial aid

So you've applied to college, been accepted, and gotten a look at your financial aid package. You do the math and realize you are short of paying for everything. What are you going to do?

Well, you can ask the financial aid office for another look, maybe a better offer. Click here for tips on getting more financial aid.

After that, there are a few things the college student can do to make the bottom line look better.

First thing is to be first in line. Apply early. Colleges have a more limited supply of funds to give out and may run out if you delay.

Think about changing schools, if it's not too late. Many colleges are offering out of state students money as an incentive to come to their college. Some large private colleges actually have more money to give out. So even though the cost is higher, it will be cheaper for you in the long run.

Don't overlook the scholarship search. It may take some of your time, but working on finding scholarships in this economy is worth it. And there are many scholarships that go overlooked. You can do a free college scholarship search here, or learn ways of finding scholarships here.

Colleges have what they call merit scholarships to current students who have high GPAs. So, pump up your studying and get good grades.

And the easiest way to make up a shortage of college money. Spend less. This means everything from transportation, to books, and dorms to food. Read 30 ways to cut college costs.

The bottom line, is that your bottom line may look deep, but with a little extra work, you can make up for a college cash crunch.