By Allison Wardley
Your first look at your credit score can be scary for anyone, expecially college students. With a page of meaningless numbers in front of you, it is hard to make sense of it all.
"I don't know what any of this means," says University of South Carolina student Bridget Cafferty.
The scores, issued by a national company based on what you owe and how much you make, determine if you get a loan or credit card, and the rates you will pay. They run between 400 and 900 on the credit scale. Bridget's score is a 610, which means her credit is higher than 25% of the country.
But what does your credit score have to do with buying a new car or home?
"When your credit drops it can effect the rate that you get on a car, or anything like that. It is also effecting your insurance," says Brian Hofferth of NBSC.
More than half of college freshmen have a credit card, and the balances on those play a big part in the score.
"It's intimidating as a student to say I don't know or I don't understand. They don't ask any questions, they just sign on the dotted line," explains Helen Powell, Vice President of Carolina Collegiate.
However, once college students have a firm understanding of what their credit score means to them and their future, they may not be as willing sign anything.