Some of the most important things to know is to realize you want a long history of not using more credit than you can handle. I’ve advised many young people with their first apartments that they can establish credit history my getting a utility bill in their name (possibly with a cosigner) and make sure it’s paid on time. It’s most likely that it will be paid on time if it’s set to automatically withdraw the entire amount from someone’s checking account. If you have multiple roommates, have at least one bill in each person’s name and a mandatory meeting on the first of each month to square up the difference from last month’s bills. If you have credit cards, set them to all pay off in full from your checking account at the end of the month. This will force you to not carry a balance and always have more credit than you are using. Most agencies consider credit cards balances that are too close to the limited as maxed out and seriously hurt your credit rating.
Jeff recommends the following next steps:
- Set up credit cards to pay off in full automatically from your checking account each month
- Check the balance to make sure you never have more usage than money available.
- Set up utilities to pay off in full each month from your checking account.
- If you have roommates, have a different utility in each person’s name, set each one to pay off in full. and meet each month to settle the difference.