It becomes especially difficult if you don’t understand certain adult verbiage. So, let’s get our feet wet on some terms. First off, what is credit and a credit score? Long story short, it’s how the banks determine if they want to lend you money.
Your credit score is a three-digit number that represents your creditworthiness and will determine how much money the bank will lend you and at what interest rate. Anyone over the age of 18 can have a credit score. Did your parents ever warn you to never have more than one credit card at a time? They were just protecting you and your credit score, not nagging at you as you may have thought at the time. The more credit you use, the more you will affect this magical three-digit number.
Feeling a little overwhelmed or don’t know how this applies to you? The most common examples of where you’ll need to know your credit score is when you are applying for a new credit card, purchasing or leasing a new vehicle and when applying for a mortgage. You want a good, high credit score to be able to qualify for a loan from the bank at a good interest rate. They use your credit score to determine if you have paid off the debt in the past and if they can rely on you to pay off your new debt. Basically, they are calculating the risk they will be taking if they lend you money. It’s kind of like analyzing your tinder date; how did they treat dates in the past, will they repeat the same mistakes? Dating, money, it’s all about understanding how they affect your life. We’re not saying don’t ever use a credit card in your life, only that you should be cautious when using such a powerful tool.
Things that contribute to your credit score include:
- Payment history
- Amounts owed
- Length of credit history
- New credit
- Types of credit in use
If you are not sure what all that means or still don’t understand what credit and credit score is, don’t worry – we got you covered. Join us on Tuesday, November 28th from 6-9pm at Trolley 5 for our Adulting 101: Credit + Credit Score edition to learn directly from experts at ATB Financial. You’ll learn how to increase your credit score, good habits to get into (like paying your bills on time) and how to check your credit score. Set yourself up for success and make your mama proud.
Meet the experts who will be teaching you all the things:
Katie manages ATB’s branch on the U of C campus and is an expert in student financial issues and banking for young people. She is a graduate of the U of A business school and has worked at ATB for about 3 years. Outside of work, she loves her dog Louis Litt and runs a small cake business.
Patricia Fonseca de Oliveira
Patricia Fonseca De Oliveira is a Mobile branch Manager for the ATB Calgary Market and has been in banking for 5 years. She is a passionate entrepreneur and runs her personal Renovation Company on the side of her work. Patricia loves to help people with their banking and set them on the right path to success. She loves cooking, music, dancing, and playing her saxophone.
Buy your Adulting 101 tickets here.