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What's a good credit score for a college student?

unoriginal2unoriginal2 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
edited January 2011 in Parent Cafe
Hi parents,

I've seen some discussion of credit cards/scores here before, so I thought this might be a good place to get some advice. I'm a junior in college, and I recently checked my credit score with a site called Quizzle. I didn't really know what to expect, but was a little surprised that my score was in the 690s. I kind of thought it would be higher, but I realized I don't actually know what would be considered good/normal for someone who doesn't have a lot of credit history. I'm considering buying a car soon, which is why I started thinking about this (even though I would definitely pay cash for the car).

I've had a one credit card for a year and a half, which had a credit limit of $500 for a year. I called 6 months ago and asked for an increase, so now it's at $1500. My savings total about $16k between savings and checking accounts, and while attending school I pay for all expenses that aren't rent (utilities, food, clothes, etc.). I've never made a late payment for any bill, and I always pay off the balance in full. For income, I have a part-time job where I could net anywhere from 3k to 10k in a year depending on my schedule.

One thing I didn't quite understand was a second card listed on my account. I do have a Gap Visa with my name on it, but the account is definitely my mom's and I was fairly sure she just set me up as an authorized payer so I could have a card for some expenses when I was in high school. I no longer use it ever, and I don't think she does either. The credit limit is considerably higher than my card ($6k), and the highest balance shown for ever being on the account is $5900.

Since it's my mom's account, I have no idea if the card carries a balance, if late payments have been made, or anything. Could this be affecting my credit, or should it? I haven't asked her about it yet, as it's kind of an awkward subject and I'm not really sure how it all works. I've heard authorized payers don't affect or build their own credit if it's not their own sole account, but is that true?

Any advice would be appreciated, especially about whether my score is good/normal/concerning, or things I should look out for/do to improve my credit score or correct any issues.
Post edited by unoriginal2 on

Replies to: What's a good credit score for a college student?

  • fendergirlfendergirl Registered User Posts: 4,694 Senior Member
    I'm not a financial advisor but I'll throw out my two cents...

    690 sounds about right for someone your age. Especially for someone who only has a year and a half of established credit. Very good actualy. I know a lot of "adults" who don't have a 690.

    Ask your mom if that card is what you think it is. As long as it's legit, I personally wouldn't worry about it. One of the things they look at when they determine your score is how much money you have access to and how much you are actually using, if that makes sense. So I think that 6k sitting there on your report not being used should help you (as long as your mother doesn't go crazy with the card). Maybe she put the card in both of your names rather then an authorized payor to help you gain credit. You gain credit points the longer your accounts are active. They don't look at what you make or what is in your savings accounts. It's all about your credit.

    In the United states, FICO risk scores range from 300-850, with 723 being the median FICO score of Americans.

    I actually just got my updated score last week. I'm 28 and my score is 790 which I think is pretty darn good. However if you saw my report you would see a mortgage, student loans, four credit cards (one of which I've closed), and a car loan that i have since paid off. It's a number that is built up (or destroyed) over time. I think you are on the right track.
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Registered User Posts: 5,746 Senior Member
    We just had the bank run my sophomore D's score...also a 690. I was very surprised since she only has one major credit card, opened about 2 months ago, which has never been used at all! We were buying her a used vehicle and decided that putting a $5K loan (the min. they would consider) in her name, with automatic payments from an account we both have access to, would help her to establish credit. All of the banks/credit unions we contacted offered a much better rate for scores over 700, so I was added as co-borrower on the application and that allowed her to benefit from the higher score, which apparently doesn't happen with a co-signer. It wouldn't have been a huge amount of money since the loan will be paid off in 2 years anyway, but the rate difference would have been 4.5% for being just under 700!
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