Credit Counselors Offer 10 Tips for College Grads - Other News


ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE: is an independent, advertising-supported web site. receives compensation from most credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Credit Card Applications » News » Other » Credit Counselors Offer 10 Tips for College Grads

Credit Counselors Offer 10 Tips for College Grads

The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

As the strains of Pomp and Circumstance fade away and a newly minted class of college graduates prepares to head into the world of adult responsibilities, credit scores might be the last thing on their minds.

Students are used to worrying about their grade point averages—but when they apply for a job, an apartment, a business loan or a mortgage, it will be their credit score, not their GPA, that counts. It’s important that graduates understand the impact their credit scores have on their futures, and take steps to improve a bad credit score or maintain a good one.

Credit counselors at GreenPath Debt Solutions, a nonprofit agency that helps consumers with credit card, housing, and student loan debt, offer these ten smart finance tips for new college grads:

  1. Contact your student loan issuer and ask for a six-month deferment as soon as you have your diploma in hand. This gives you time to get a job lined up and sock some funds away before you have to begin making loan payments.

  2. Review your credit report. Check for errors and familiarize yourself with all the information on it. You can get a free copy from each of the three major credit bureaus at

  3. Take stock of the credit cards you have opened and consider which you will continue using. Remember that maintaining at least one credit card account, which you pay off each month, helps build your credit score.

  4. If there is any negative information on your credit report, be prepared to explain it to prospective employers and reassure them that you are on top of your credit situation.

  5. Make sure you do not have any unpaid debts at your school. Check with the registrar to make sure all library fines, parking tickets, etc. are paid up.

  6. Notify the post office, bank and your credit card issuers of your new address if you are moving after graduation. You don’t want to miss any bills, statements or letters from creditors.

  7. Take some time to build up savings after graduation. A new apartment, new car, and other major expenses can usually wait until you find your financial footing.

  8. Make a budget and keep track of your spending. List all the places you spend money: grocery store, restaurants, clothing stores, etc. Don’t let your first paycheck go to your head. Know where your money is going and have a spending plan so it doesn’t slip through your fingers.

  9. Open a savings account and get in the habit of putting part of your paycheck directly into savings. Be sure to sign up for your employer’s retirement plan as well.

  10. If you have credit card debt, begin aggressively paying it down right away. Contact a credit counseling agency for assistance if you’re having trouble making minimum payments or need help formulating a strategy to pay off debt.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
Add to Favorites:

Related News:

College Students Looking to Up Their Credit
College Students Looking to Up Their Credit

Posted: March 25, 2016

When you think of college you might envision fun times and parties, but these days college students are also honing their financial skills, which includes boosting their credit score, according to a new study by Sallie Mae. Continue reading

Feds Call for Free Credit Scores
Feds Call for Free Credit Scores

Posted: March 07, 2014

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is urging credit card issuers to make cardholders’ credit scores available for free on their monthly statements and online. Continue reading

FICO Scores Getting a Makeover
FICO Scores Getting a Makeover

Posted: March 17, 2014

Your FICO score may look a little different starting this summer. The company is releasing a new version of their credit-scoring product, the FICO Score 9, designed to provide more accurate risk assessment across different industries. Continue reading

Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.
Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
For Excellent, Good Credit
INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!
For Excellent, Good Credit
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
For Average, Fair, Limited Credit
You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Your Credit History
Themes you are interested in:

By providing this information you help us make our news letters more useful and informative. Thank you!