Building credit is a responsibility students must learn in college

Breyanna Tripp

Freshman hospitality management major Allie Kindell said she is responsible with her credit card.

“My parents thought it would be good for me to build my credit score while I’m in college,” Kindell said. ”Just buying gas and small things that I can pay off.”

Factors that affect your credit score

1.) Payment history (about 35 percent of your score)
2.) Amounts you owe (30 percent)
3.) Length of credit history (15 percent)
4.) Number of credit accounts (10 percent)
5.) Types of credit (10 percent)

Shukriyyah Atkins, assistant manger at Huntington Bank, said building credit is a good but complicated situation.

“The reason why it can be frustrating is because you need to find somebody that will give you the opportunity to receive credit,” Atkins said. “In general, what they are looking for is your past history. That will determine if you can receive credit.”

Atkins said the best way for college students to build credit is to get a credit card and consistently pay it off, and she suggests students get a department store card.

“See if they will give you a stepping stone to try to get enough established credit and if they do, use the card wisely, charge a few dollars on it and pay it off every month,” Atkins said.

Kindell said she makes sure she pays off her payments on time.

“It slightly stresses me out. I do mine all online, and when I see money transferring from my deposit account go down, it gives me anxiety,” Kindell said. “I keep my payments up. I’m not too worried about my credit score.”

According to, credit scores allow lenders to see how much of a risk a person may have to decide whether or not they will give someone credit. Scores can range anywhere from 300-850, and any score 700 and above is considered good standing. Good credit will make it easier to rent an apartment and buy a car, and it can lower your insurance rate.

Sophomore nursing major Andrea Campbell said she has a credit card to pay for her textbooks.

“I have one through Discover, and I think my score is 704 or something like that,” Campbell said. “Right now, my score is decent enough, but I am a little worried since I use it for books, and it uses up my maximum credit.”

Junior accounting major Stephen Renfrow said he used his credit card for a large purchase.

“I only used it for one period of time just to try to build a little bit of a credit score,” Renfrow said. “At first, I made the minimum payments, but since it adds interest, I decided to pay it off on the next one. I made, like, four payments.”

Renfrow said he still has his card for emergencies.

“I’m not too worried about applying for credit cards,” Renfrow said “Right now, I’m paying off interest from student loans and I know that eventually it will go towards my credit score. I’m making all my payments on time, and I’m not missing anything. I’m hoping that will help me build a good enough credit score to where if I need to use or need to get a new credit card or apply for a loan or anything, I’m OK.”

Bankrate, a financial research company, conducted telephone surveys in February to ask Americans about how they feel about their personal finances. Their report found that 51 percent of Americans have more credit card debt than savings.

The amount of credit card debt in January was $856 billion according to Federal Reserve.

Freshman music theatre major Austin Gantz is weary about having a credit card.

“Credit scores can ruin your life, and that’s why I don’t have a credit card,” he said. “Eventually I will get a credit card, but at this point in my life, I do not feel I am responsible enough to have a credit card. “

For a free credit report, visit

Contact Breyanna Tripp at [email protected].