If you’re a recent college grad, then you’ve probably already had a quick taste of how things work in the “real world.” And that taste was probably foul…Being a young college student is all about making foolish mistakes. But once you become an “actual person” after graduation, you quickly learn that certain mistakes, like developing bad credit, can really hurt your quality of life. Below, there a two general tips on how to protect your credit score by staying on top of things and creating financial stability:
1. Use A Calendar
Okay, we get it—you’re probably a “free spirit” and frequently yell “YOLO” whenever you have to make serious decisions. The past four years of your life might have revolved around the beliefs that “life is too short” and you have to “seize the day” and “it is what it is.” And there’s nothing wrong with that. But as you get older, you’ll realize that the only way to get things done in the “real world” is to plan ahead. Graduating college an awesome achievement and a degree will definitely help you out with job opportunities, but this is only the beginning… From here on out, you’ll need to have more responsibility with important payments and other deadlines.
Unfortunately, you probably won’t be breaking the chains of student loan debt for quite some time, and the number of bills that you pay month-to-month will only increase. So save yourself some stress and aggravation by utilizing the calendar on your smartphone or throwing a big one up on your bedroom wall. Remembering to pay off all of your bills each month will prove to be much more satisfying than trying to live a completely care-free lifestyle with random patches of stress and aggravation. Start making the right decisions the first time around so that you don’t have seek debt relief services in the future.
2. Make Careful Financial Decisions
Although college has probably taught you valuable lessons about how to make ends meet, there’s still a lot for you to learn in the future about handling your finances. Luckily, there are few tips and tricks that’ll help your checking and savings accounts stay afloat as you transition from a recent college-grad to a working professional. Since we all know that going out to the bars doesn’t come to an end after you’re handed your degree, you should think about being more conscious about how much cash you spend when you do. Today, when most twenty-somethings go out, they’ll order drinks, hand the bartenders their cards, order more drinks, and then return later in the night to sign the bill. Instead of dealing with the gut-wrenching suspense of a credit/debit card bill, use cash and pay as you go. You’ll be more aware of how much you’ve already spent and also know when you need to shut it down for the night.
It’s definitely common for a lot of recent grads to wait for their first credit card until they’ve finished college. Credit cards are great ways for you to build credit—as long as you use them responsibly. You must understand, though, that when you use your credit card, you’re spending money that you don’t have. Everything that you buy with your credit card, you’ll have to pay back to the lender with interest. Use your credit card only when you’re buying something that you know that you could buy with debit or cash. Whatever you buy with your card, make sure you pay off the balance as soon as possible to demonstrate your financial responsibility and improve your credit score. Without respecting the system, you’ll eventually bury yourself in debt and have to ask an expert to help you fix your credit online. Be cautious about when, where and how you spend your money, and you’ll never be left in the dark with where you stand financially.