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How Can I Raise My Credit Score Before I Apply for Student Loans?

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My biggest financial concern at the moment is raising my credit score to get approved for another college loan to get back in school. I already have taken out a few loans for previous semesters and am paying them off currently. My current employer offers tuition assistance that will pay most if not all of my schooling expenses so I won't have to borrow any more money once I get my bursar bill paid. I have a secured credit card in my name and am ahead on my payments. What else can I/should I be doing to establish and build my credit to get back in school. Thanks in advance! Love the website, BTW.

-- M.

Hi, M.

Congrats on thinking ahead and building up your credit score! I'd recommend that you first check your credit score to see where you fall.

  • If you have bad credit (less than 630-ish), you can take out another secured credit card to build up your score faster. However, since you're already paying off student loans and are current on your credit card, you're probably out of the poor-credit range.
  • If you have fair/average credit (630-690), you can apply for a department store credit card. These cards tend to have looser lending standards. Just don't actually use the card -- the APR is typically very high.
  • If you have good credit (690-720), call up your current secured card issuer and ask it to upgrade you to an unsecured, no-annual-fee credit card. That way you'll get your security deposit back and won't have to pay annual fees. Then, apply for another credit card. I recommend the Chase Freedom -- when I just graduated college, I applied for it and was approved despite having a very short credit history.

Best of luck, and glad you like the site!
Anisha

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