Time for some real talk about what "counts" for adults. Once you’re out of school, your GPA pretty much ceases to matter beyond looking cute on your resumé. Instead, you’re getting measured on your performance the grown-up way: by your credit score.
What’s all this noise about a little three-digit number? Well, for one, having a high credit score — which reveals your debt management skills — can save you a ton of money. Lenders use credit scores to decide if they feel like lending money to you at all, and if so, how much interest to charge you for the privilege. A low (read: bad) credit score could mean you pay thousands more for a car, home or business loan — if the bank agrees to lend to you at all.
It also takes time to improve your credit score, from several months to several years. That means you should be taking care of it today, not three years from now when you’re ready to start your handcrafted jewelry business, and the bank is all like, “Cute jewelry, but we’re not lending to you.”
We talked to the experts — Minneapolis-based certified financial planner Sophia Bera, Bethy Hardeman of Credit Karma and Rod Griffin of credit reporting agency Experian — to get their advice on how to buff up your score to a new shine.
Designed by Isabelle Rancier