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How to build a healthy credit history

As a busy student you’ve got a lot on your plate, but when it comes to building a healthy credit history it’s never too soon to get started.

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The good news is that you’re in control and there are many things you can do right now to start building a credit history the banks will love. Take these steps to get your credit score on the right track.

1. Check your credit history

Did you know that more than 30 per cent of Australians have errors on their credit file? Make sure your credit history is accurate with a free credit report and address any errors you find. You can get a free credit report from a credit reporting body once a year, or if you’ve applied for (and been refused) credit within the past three months. Find out more at the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

2. Pay your bills on time

Paying your bills late is a red flag for lenders. You can set up automatic transfers for your regular monthly bills, and consider using a smart phone app like Mint to receive alerts when your bills are due.

3. Avoid the credit crunch

Signing up for a credit card with a modest limit can be a great way to demonstrate your reliability. But don’t miss payments or apply for multiple cards—both will likely take points off your credit score.

4. Consolidate your income

When assessing you for a loan, your bank will want to see regular income coming into your account. Make sure you have your salary paid into your every-day account, along with any other income you may earn from odd jobs.

5. Keep it stable

Stability is another key factor you’ll be assessed on. The longer you can stay in a single job, the better. The same goes for your living arrangements. Banks tend to favour people with a long-term residential address.

6. Fill your piggy bank

Demonstrating that you’re a good saver will win you points with your lender. Consider setting up a regular automatic transfer from your every-day bank account into a saver account or term deposit. Start small and increase your contributions as you can afford it.

 

Take the time to build a healthy credit history now and you’ll be a good bet for the banks when you’re ready to buy your dream home.

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  • Important Information

      The information contained in this webpage is general in nature and has been provided in good faith, without taking into account your personal circumstances. While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information is accurate and opinions fair and reasonable, no warranties in this regard are provided.