TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - Aug 27, 2014) - University years are a crucial time for young adults to establish good credit, but students are often financial novices and can get into trouble quickly. Most don't realize that building a positive credit history is just as important as building a strong GPA. TransUnion takes this opportunity during back-to-school season to encourage parents to teach their students some good financial habits.
"The decisions college students make today at the age of 18, 19 or their early twenties can lead to credit troubles down the road when they have graduated and want to use credit to purchase items like a car or home," said Ken Chaplin, senior vice president of TransUnion. "Teaching college students the basics of establishing good credit now, such as making on-time payments and applying for credit in moderation, can help them obtain credit in the future and reach their financial goals."
For parents, talking about personal finance topics with their children can be daunting, particularly during a busy back-to-school season, but by taking a few simple steps, students can ensure they start their financial future on the right foot.
- Take Caution with Personal Information: Be mindful of the personal information that your student is carrying. Make sure their information is kept in a safe spot and not just tossed in the bottom of a school bag or left out in a dorm room. Encourage them to memorize their personal information.
- Mix it up with your Password: When creating passwords for your online school accounts, use a random mix of letters and numbers. Doing so makes it harder for identity thieves to discover these codes.
- Teach Good Habits: Between applying for student loans and college credit cards, and struggling with budgeting on a student income, college students may find it difficult to balance cash flow. Teach them to establish good credit habits, such as paying credit card bills on time, staying out of overdraft on bank accounts, and keeping credit balances below their limits. It can take years to counter a negative credit history, so help them start strong and keep their credit healthy.
- Stay on Top of Your Spending: Use a notebook or free software if you have it. Good records will prevent you from getting overdrawn at the bank or charging more than your credit limit. This habit also allows you to detect spending patterns.
- Budget, budget, budget: It doesn't have to be fancy. At the start of the month, estimate how much money you'll receive and decide where needs to go. Remember: you don't need to spend it all.
- Be Wary of Offers with Freebies: Use caution when accepting free offers (e.g. Win a new iPad!) in exchange for sharing personal information as it can get in the hands identity thieves.
- Monitoring Credit: A credit report isn't the first thing on a student's mind; Take time to help your student understand what is contained in his or her credit report and how to monitor their credit as part of their ongoing financial management. TransUnion.ca makes it easy for adults -- both parents and their university students -- to stay on top of their credit health.
For more information on how to establish good credit, regardless of your age, visit www.TransUnion.ca.
TransUnion Interactive, Inc. is a consumer subsidiary of TransUnion. As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion employs associates in more than 33 countries on five continents. www.transunion.com. Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TransUnion.