Finance educator: Students lack credit knowledge, education


Some students have not begun to build their credit score for the future.

Equifax, a credit reporting agencies, defines credit as "a mathematical model designed to predict credit risk, based on data contained within your credit file." 

A credit score is given a numerical value between 250 and 850. The higher a person's credit score is, the more a likely lender is to give them a loan. Employers and landlords also look at credit scores before they hire or approve leases.

Greg Kolesar, a senior computer science major, said the main reason some students are not aware of the need to build credit is because it is not taught in school. He said one of the perceptions some students see is that credit has a bad reputation, especially after the economic crisis a few years back.

Personal finance educator at University of Idaho Extension Luke Erickson agreed with what Kolesar believed. The reason students have a lack of knowledge about credit is the lack of education, he said.  Erickson attributes the lack of knowledge to how credit has grown in importance.

By creating a game similar to the show "Who wants to be a Millionare?" Erickson hopes to educate students about everything credit entails.

Erickson said that the importance of credit has grown over the past ten years.  A decade ago, it did not have a big impact, he said.  Then five years ago it was crucial in lending.  Presently, credit is important in almost all aspects of life.

Mollie Johns, a senior marketing major, and McKenzie Butler, a freshman business major, said they did not know how to build credit. Butler said she uses her parent's credit card and was not sure how to build credit.

Some students know about building credit, but are hesitant to begin. Philip Armendarez, a junior accounting major, said he knows about credit, but lacks the motivation to begin growing his credit.

Others knew that they need to get started as soon as possible. Jordan Prather, a junior nursing major, said she talked to a banker to learn how to start building credit. She said she motivated herself because she know how important it is for the future.

Prather said the banker told her to charge under half of the credit card's limit. Prather also said she always paid off her balance before she receives her bill. has ten ways to help students build their credit. Some of their tips include how to get a credit card, getting the right card for each customer, and when the customer should use their card.  

For more ways to help build a credit score, you can visit this website.