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Easy ways to for students and others to start managing and building credit.

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Want to pay the lowest rates on home and auto loans? Do frequent flyer miles, access to swanky airport lounges, credits and cash back on your purchases sound like fun? You can live a little better when you select the right credit cards. 

Serving consumers considered “new to credit” since 1996, First Financial is the nation’s leading source for safe credit cards for students. Federal student loan service Sallie Mae reports that 56 percent of students have their own credit cards. More than half acquired these cards so they could build their credit scores. 

Don’t get left behind. Those new to credit have a great opportunity to establish robust credit worthiness. The higher your credit score, the more of your money you get to keep for savings. The earlier you start saving, the more time doubles and triples your money all on its own. 

But don’t jump on just any credit card. Choosing the random credit card offers that come in the mail leaves control of your finances in the hands of a bank that doesn’t know your goals or spending habits. It’s only when you take control and choose credit according to your priorities that you drive your credit score high and enjoy the top rewards. First, you must know and understand how you will use credit. 

 

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In a time when student loans can amount to tens of thousands of dollars, the prospect of more debt can make students and others new to debt nervous. You may have heard, too, of friends or relatives who’ve “gotten into trouble” with credit card debt. 

It’s true that credit card debt can mount, particularly when the rates are in the neighborhood of 29.99%. Those who keep using debt without paying down their balances face higher and higher bills each month. Suddenly that $50 meal out really cost $65 that year. That $100 dress became $130 with all the credit card interest added to it. 

But credit card usage can contribute to a healthy financial portfolio, too. 

Newscasters don’t talk as much about the smart credit card holders who use debt to their advantage. Most importantly, those who use reliable card holders enjoy:

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The bottom line is that credit card usage is the easiest way to establish a good to excellent credit score. 

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[expand title=”If you can stick to these habits, credit usage will only improve your financial picture.“]

Even if your credit score isn’t good now, becoming a reliable credit user will increase it reliably over the next six months to a year. Before two years are out, you’ll have the excellent credit that gives you financial control and even valuable rewards. Consider, too, that it’s not just your friends and co-workers who have debt. It’s businesses, non-profits, churches and even (especially!) the United States government. Debt is a practical way to manage life’s expenses and live well.

A recent Gallup poll reveals that the average credit-using American has 3.7 cards. Americans with high credit scores have the most credit cards, and the average consumer with a FICO score of 800 or higher actually has 10 credit cards. Utilizing credit wisely can involve many cards.  First Financial features all kinds of options on student credit cards.  

The smartest consumers have the self-awareness to pick a card based on how they’ll use it. If you know you’ll keep a balance, searching for the lowest yearly interest rate or APR makes the most sense. Those who plan to pay off the balance every month prioritize using the credit card to demonstrate credit worthiness. These people don’t have to worry about the interest rate because they won’t pay the extra involved in deferring payment. Instead, they can select the cards with best travel, dining and cash back rewards. 

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You may have heard that you can’t get a credit card unless you’ve already established a credit score by having credit cards. How would anyone ever get started? 

First Financial’s network of lenders cater to students and those with low to no credit. These lenders tend to be smaller but secure banks looking to begin lifelong relationships with responsible people. After a few months of using this initial credit card, you can obtain more credit cards or an auto loan without having to ask a family member to co-sign. What a relief!

Prepare to qualify only for a “secured” credit card. With the secured card, you or your parents turn over a few hundred dollars at first and that constitutes your limit. While this arrangement doesn’t seem like credit at all, the lender does report your regular payments to the three credit bureaus. After you’ve spent six months or more making your payments on time, this lender will likely offer you a traditional credit card. The traditional credit card that doesn’t require initial cash is called “unsecured.” Once you’ve proven you can make payments on time, you can even apply for unsecured cards from other lenders with a better likelihood of approval. 

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Start enjoying the satisfaction of saving and managing money well. Rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau, First Financial helps you become someone with rock-solid credit worthiness. Get started today! 

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First Financial

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