Heading to college or university marks the first steps into adulthood for many 18-21 year-olds and that includes financial responsibilities. Stepping away from the ‘bank of mum and dad’ means students have to pay for everything from the broadband contract to new IT equipment. A part-time job can help students, but they might also consider using credit responsibly.
“Equifax helps students understand the role of their credit information”
Equifax, the credit information provider is helping students understand the role of credit information in the credit application process. Students can sign up to the Equifax Credit Watch Silver product at £3.99 a month by going to www.equifax.co.uk/studentpromo. They will receive a one-off copy of their credit report and receive weekly alerts if any information changes.
“Having just entered adult life, it’s important for students to understand the role of their credit information as well as learn how to build a strong credit history”, explained Lisa Hardstaff, credit information expert at Equifax. “We are making it easy for students to get a copy of their credit report with our student promotion. This includes alerts to changes to their credit information as they start to take on more financial commitments.
“Lenders want to see evidence that an individual will be a responsible borrower, and they will use credit information as part of the application process. We hope, therefore, that our promotion will give students valuable insight into their credit information. Our Member Centre also provides useful tips to help them understand their credit information.”
Lenders use the information an individual provides on their application form, along with the individual’s personal credit report, when assessing an application for credit. But students may not know what information is important and how it is used. They may also have limited information on their credit report – at the early stage of their adult life.
“A mobile phone contract is probably one of the first credit agreements a student will have, which can help to build their credit history”, added Lisa Hardstaff. “It’s important students realise that lenders will look at how they manage payments on any credit agreements – including mobile phone contracts – when assessing new loan applications. Students living in shared digs should also be careful who they open joint accounts with, as the other party’s financial behaviour could impact their ability to get credit in the future.”
What’s on a Credit Report?
Key pieces of information on a credit report will include:
Student loan information is not included in a credit report, unless the individual became a student before 1998.
“Students looking to start using credit responsibly may find it useful to review their credit report intermittently”, concluded Lisa Hardstaff. “They will see how their credit profile and score develops as they become more active in the world of finance.”