Clark College Career Services held a credit workshop on Tuesday, hosted by program specialist Dan Westby, that allowed students and community members to ask questions regarding credit, loans, taxes and overall finances.
According to Westby, getting into a bad credit situation is easier than getting out. He stressed the importance of making a payment plan that is for the most part unchanging. The longer someone is accumulating credit, the better their credit score will be. An ideal credit score is 750 or above.
“[Your credit score] is not just for your future loan rates and buying a house,” Westby said. “Some employers will check your credit score and credit history. They want to know if you’re being responsible because your credit history is a sign of responsibility.”
Further, credit cardholders need to be extra careful with their spending. Westby said that misusing credit cards is the biggest mistake people make in regards to managing credit.
For those just beginning to build up credit, he recommends having a credit card with a low spending limit, that is used only occasionally and is paid off immediately.
Westby said that it is difficult to time when interest rates will be low and that people are usually subject to whatever rates are available at the time. However, he also claimed that right now is a great time to start building credit due to historically low-interest rates.
Everybody’s financial situation is unique and according to Westby, there is no one-size-fits-all regime for building credit. This is why he recommends meeting with a financial advisor, like the ones available to Clark students through Career Services.
Clark College students can schedule a financial wellness appointment by emailing Financialwellness@clark.edu.