The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students learn to build credit

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The Collegian Logo

By Annette Kirk/campus editor

Students learned about developing financial literacy at a NE financial workshop Nov. 1 as they prepare for life decisions like renting an apartment or buying a car.

NE financial aid adviser Joe Rodriguez spoke to students about how to build credit history, the impact of missed payments and checking credit reports.

“My parents really stressed to me the importance of having good credit and knowing how to get a loan and repay it back properly,” Rodriguez said. “I remember when I was in FFA [Future Farmers of America] and I wanted to show a hog, I asked my parents for money but instead, they told me to go to the bank and get a loan to purchase it.”

Rodriguez used this example to demonstrate how to handle paying back a loan to help build trust with a bank and establish a credit history.

“What you do now with your credit history will affect you for the next seven to 10 years,” he said.

Students can build credit history by renting an apartment, taking out a loan or purchasing a large item such as a car. If a person does not have history, most lenders will request for a co-signer, someone who has credit and will take responsibility for the debt if the main applicant does not pay.

When a borrower fails to repay the debt back on time, the lender will send the missed payment to a credit reporting agency such as Equifax, Transunion or Experian. On-time payments make up 35 percent of a person’s credit history, and missed payments will damage the report and label the borrower as a high risk.

Monthly debt repayment equal no more than 15-20 percent of a person’s monthly income, Rodriguez said. If a credit card is fully paid off, do not cancel it or the entire credit history will be erased.

People may check their credit scores once a year with each credit reporting agency. If planned well, someone may check their credit score three times a year through each agency.

“Keep up with your credit and don’t do anything stupid,” said NE student Andrew Le.

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