ST. LOUIS -- Unless you're born into millions, you need a credit score to financially survive. It’s essential if you want to buy ‘The American Dream.’ You know the house and the car. Still, nearly 30 percent of Americans don't know their credit score
22-year-old Megan Anthony graduates from SLU this Spring. She's focused on studying for finals and admits, along with her friend Madeline Siener, they don't know the first thing about their credit score.
Anthony called her dad to find out if she had a credit score.
"Umm I just have a question really fast, do I have a credit score? Oh, I do have a credit score, awesome!"
Anthony said she really hasn’t heard much about credit scores in school or in her personal life.
"What I’ve heard is from those Credit Karma commercials that probably the only place I’ve heard about credit scores," Anthony said.
"I wish they had a class that taught us about it," said Siener.
This is exactly why Abby Buckhouse has a job.
"It’s crazy because it is so vital in the way we go about our lives," said Buckhouse. Buckhouse is a financial well-being coach with Operation Hope in the City of St. Louis. "We don't talk about it ever. I didn't learn it in college, I didn’t learn it in high school, I didn’t learn it from anybody but my parents."
What we are taught, can not only be misleading, but a huge setback as well.
"We’re often taught that credit is bad. The thing I hear the most often is I wish I had this when I was younger. It’s frustrating because it’s like yeah me too because you wouldn't be here," Buckhouse said.
So what can you do to start building a good credit score?
Buckhouse said apply for a secured credit card. Make sure you don’t max it out because you need to pay it off at the end of each month.
Also, any loan under your name is on your credit report. Be sure to make your car and mortgage payments on time.
"It takes effort, a little bit of sacrifice, but if you're committed its totally possible," said Buckhouse.
All this talk about credit scores got Anthony and Siener thinking about life after college.
"There's this school work that we have to worry about but were at this like weird cusp where now there's real world stuff we have to worry about too. So, it’s just like crashing together. Maybe I’ll just go to grad school and put if off a little longer," Anthony laughed.
Your Credit Score is made up of the following:
Payment history: 35%
Current credit: 30%
Credit history length: 15%
New credit inquiries: 10%
Credit mix: 10%