When you’re in college, you take living among your best friends for granted. Plenty of schools have on-campus housing that makes it easy to live in tight knit communities - but even if you’re living off campus, chances are that your landlord is used to dealing with college kids, and they probably pay less attention to credit scores when it comes time to sign a lease.
The real world is a different story. Landlords won’t care that you’re a recent college graduate. If you end up applying for an apartment without a solid credit score, you could be hit with a rejection - even if you have enough money to pay the rent. Here’s why having a good credit score is the key to getting an apartment with your friends after college - and how forgetting to build credit can make things even tougher than you might guess.
What does my credit score have to do with renting an apartment?
I get it - when you’re in college, credit scores can seem like the type of thing you won’t need to worry about for years. It’s common to think that unless you’re taking out a mortgage to buy a new house, you can put building your credit score on the back burner. Plenty of people also think that because they’re already responsible with money, they don’t also need to build credit.
But your credit score can come into play a lot sooner than you think. And one of the first times it comes into play is when you go to rent your first apartment after graduating.
Imagine graduating, moving to a new city with a couple of your friends, and finding the perfect apartment for you all to live in. Then imagine that you apply, but you’re the only one of your friends who isn’t approved to live in the apartment because you didn’t do anything to build your credit score in college.
This is a nightmare scenario that’s far too common. To make matters worse, there’s no quick fix if you need credit but don’t have any history. It takes time to build a credit score, and so you might not get the chance to live with your friends at all. You might end up having to move back home, forgo job opportunities, or live somewhere you don’t want to live - all because you didn’t build your credit score!
What can you do?
Missing out on your dream apartment in a new city with you friends is a pretty tough outcome. While some apartments may let you bring on a parent or guardian as a co-signer, that can be a hassle too.
If you’re excited about living with your friends when you graduate from college, the clearest answer is to work on building your credit profile and your credit score before you get your diploma. And getting a Fizz card is the best way to build your credit score in college so that you’re prepared for what comes next.
Fizz was designed specifically for college students. We don’t check your credit before giving you a card, making it easier than ever to get started. We link directly to your existing bank account to keep you from spending more than you have, and your purchases are automatically paid off on a daily basis with our autopay feature.
On top of everything else, Fizz has no fees and no interest rates. We think your money should stay in your pocket where it belongs - especially since money can be tight in college. And to help you out a little more, Fizz offers great cash back at stores and brands that you love.
Fizz is the perfect way to build credit in college and get ready for the next part of your life - no matter where you decide to live after your graduate. It’s free, rewarding, and easy to use. So what are you waiting for? Download the Fizz app today!
Sam is a Kenyon College alum and is head of content at Fizz. He's been a go to personal finance resource among his peers since getting his first credit card during his sophomore year of college. He hails from Washington, DC, loves all things aviation, and currently lives in Los Angeles.