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I am a rising college senior, and I expect to graduate May 2011. I want to find ways to raise my credit score, and start repairing my credit immediately so that I will be able to buy my first car and maybe get an apartment when I get my first job within my major. I do not have a credit card, and I really would prefer to not get one, but if it would help to start fixing my credit now I will get one (i’m not concerned about overspending, but I don’t want to have a credit card that I never use either b/c I have read that they will not help your credit either). Here are the things that I saw on my credit report when I checked it:

My student loan (this will not affect my score until after I graduate and have to start paying the money back which should be around $ 25,000)
Three defaulted hospital bills showing up (at one point my mom’s insurance was canceled and on top of that I ended up having to go to the emergency room three different times during this period)

I am also concerned that if I do apply for a credit card I will not be approved, I know when a credit report is done for you this also brings down your score. I have been a part time employee with a well known clothing company for almost four years (I started my senior year of high school but now I only work when i’m on breaks from school), but I also work at school (I expect to get paid around $ 200 a month). Will any of these be considered when I apply for a credit card?

5 Thoughts on Raising my credit score as a college senior?
  1. Reply
    June 23, 2011 at 5:13 am

    The credit card companies are not so generous with giving credit cards out these days. To repair your credit, you should pay off your hospital debt even if it is a few dollars a month, at least it would be an attempt to pay.

    A credit card is a great way to start getting credit but you have to be disciplined in your spending. If you use it, pay the balance off right away. Never make minimum payments because the interest will add up quickly and the balance can take forever to payoff. Compare the rates and small print before you apply for a card. You could use the credit card to pay off your hospital debts that way it is cleaning up an expense and will allow you to start building your history by making payments. In order to get credit you have to start somewhere and anyplace you apply will check your credit history. Any income you have will be considered when applying for credit. They will want a steady income though. You may not make enough so you may have to delay your plans until you get a steady income.

    Also, cell phone bills are credit sources.

    I hope this helps.

  2. Reply
    Beef Mcbeef
    June 23, 2011 at 5:58 am

    So let me get this straight. You’re in debt, and you want advice on how to get into more debt.

    Before you graduate you might want to take an introductory finance course.

    You can probably write a letter of hardship to the hospital to get those bills reduced or dropped, particularly if it actually was a medical emergency. If you were smart, you’d have done that already. They also only stay on your credit score for so many years.

    Credit reports don’t “bring down your score”. I’m not sure why you think that. Whether or not you’re employed isn’t even known to the credit card company, so of course it’s no considered. They don’t care whether you work at Old Navy or in fact whether you’re employed at all. None of that is in your credit report. If you have good credit (which you don’t), you can be a homeless alcoholic for all they care, and you will still get approved.

    I would recommend against relying too much on credit for the rest of your life, also. Otherwise your children are going to inherit your debts. Believe it or not, it’s possible to live a completely normal life without possessing a credit card.

  3. Reply
    Jacki Dilley, LMSW
    June 23, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Greenpath Debt Solutions is a great non-profit organization that does credit counseling. Do an online search — they have offices all over the country.

    Some credit unions also also offer credit counseling.

    Be careful — a lot of “credit counselors” are bad news. You’re safe going with Greenpath or a credit union.

  4. Reply
    June 23, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Сredit repair workеd fine to fix my credit. They disputed and removed lots of bad items from my credit report. I used this service –

  5. Reply
    June 23, 2011 at 6:57 am

    First check your credit report on a consistent basis than it is to check your score. As your score is determined by the information contained

    within your report. Thus the CREDIT REPORT is the critical piece of the puzzle. Reviewing your report regularly is the best way to ensure that whatever score you have is

    accurate. Particularly for example if your are thinking of becoming a Home Owner, at which point more than likely you will be applying for a Mortgage Loan

    Reviewing your report ( is also important because you can spot identity theft fairly easily because you’ll see accounts or addresses that you

    don’t recognize. I reviewed my report a few years ago and discovered an address I didn’t recognize (along with a phone account). It took a few weeks but I had the matter

    cleared up. It didn’t affect my score but it’s important to keep your report as accurate as possible.

    Improve your FICO credit score, Courtesy of Wikipedia & Investopedia


    Payment History Category

    * Pay on time, no magic secret here
    * If you can’t pay on time, notify your lender that you need to work something out
    * Get current on past due accounts

    Amounts Owed Category

    * Keep low balances relative to your credit limit – 35% or lower is best.
    * Don’t open new accounts just to lower your used credit capacity – having too much capacity is a risk too

    Length of Credit Category

    * Consider keeping old accounts open if you’ve been a good borrower
    * Start building credit as soon as possible

    New Credit Category

    * When shopping for new credit, keep it all within a short time frame such as 14 days or less
    * Borrowers with a bad history can improve credit scores by opening a new account and managing it responsibly

    Types of Credit Category

    * Installment debt (where you pay fixed monthly installments to eliminate the debt) is “better” than revolving debt (open-ended credit card debt)
    * Certain finance company debts (like buying a product with retailer financing) can lower your score
    * A variety of loan types is helpful. They’ll know you’re a seasoned borrower if you have a mortgage, an auto loan, a few credit cards, and a student loan.


    Because a major portion of the FICO score is determined by the ratio of credit used to credit limit, a simple way to increase the score is to simply increase your credit limit.

    Some credit-repair agencies, for a fee, will report to credit bureaus that they have opened an account with a high credit limit. The customer cannot actually use this account, but

    it improves the customer’s FICO score due to lowering the balance-to-credit-limit ratio.

    Credit scores are not the sole underwriting factor used by lenders. Lenders use their own internal scoring models as well as other loss mitigation tools and data to

    gauge an individual’s creditworthiness.[16] For instance, current income and employment history, which are not part of a score, are weighed when applying for

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