Credit scores & graduating

Establishing good credit can help with life after graduation

Your credit may have a significant impact on life after college. Financial goals may depend on your credit report—full history of your accounts plus a credit score—distilled into a range from poor to excellent. Monitoring your credit may be a good first step toward financial freedom.

Credit may affect certain goals:


Getting a job

Employers may access graduates’ credit reports—but not credit scores—to check for red flags.


Renting an apartment

Some landlords may factor in your credit report when considering a rental application.


Purchasing a home

Mortgage lenders may review your credit score and report to decide home loan qualifications.


Buying a car

A credit score and report may be reviewed for auto loan approval and for determining a rate.


Post-Graduation Debt

Managing student loans

If you’re like many college students and recent graduates in the U.S., managing federal or private student loans could be your first chance to establish a history with the credit bureaus and build a solid foundation for the future. Getting in the habit of paying down your loans with on-time installments may be a wise strategy for increasing your credit score. Obtaining a free credit report from CreditWise may help you track how your financial decisions affect your credit standing.

Building credit after college

Having a plan for your credit score may help you reach your financial goals faster. CreditWise allows you to monitor your credit and provides personalized tips to help you improve your credit score, even if you are just starting out.

Here are a few ways you can begin reaching your goals:


Monitor credit

Start smart—get a credit report from CreditWise and try out our free Credit Score Simulator.


Authorized User

Parents and guardians may help you establish credit by adding you as an authorized user.


Understand credit factors

Learning to read credit reports may help you manage your accounts responsibly.


Apply for credit

New applications may result in “hard pulls,” but on-time payments may help you build credit.


While requirements vary from lender to lender, you may have fewer options for refinancing if your credit is considered poor. Typically, a lower score means higher interest rates for refinancing student loans.

Refinancing often requires a "hard pull" credit check which may negatively impact your credit score, but on-time payments and good management of credit accounts may help you build credit. It could be wise to work with your lenders to understand potential impacts on your credit when making refinancing decisions.

Individual results may vary, but in most cases, paying one off a student loan may cause a minor, temporary dip in your credit score since student loans may impact your account age and credit mix. Your score will likely bounce back as long as you maintain timely payments with all of your credit accounts.

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