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TransUnion Teaches Students Key Lesson on Establishing Good Credit as College Begins This Fall

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwired) -- 08/27/14 -- College years are a crucial time for young adults to establish good credit, but students are often financial novices and can get into trouble quickly. Most don't realize that building a positive credit history is just as important as building a strong GPA. TransUnion takes this opportunity during back-to-school season to encourage parents to teach their students some good financial habits.

"The decisions college students make today at the age of 18, 19 or their early twenties can lead to credit troubles down the road when they have graduated and want to use credit to purchase items like a car or home," said Ken Chaplin, senior vice president of TransUnion. "Teaching college students the basics of establishing good credit now, such as making on-time payments and applying for credit in moderation, can help them obtain credit in the future and reach their financial goals."

For parents, talking about personal finance topics with their children can be daunting, particularly during a busy back-to-school season, but by taking a few simple steps, students can ensure they start their financial future on the right foot.

  • Pay Rent on Time: A recent TransUnion analysis found that reporting rental payments to credit bureaus most often has a positive effect on consumers -- including college students. In fact, just one month of paying rent on time can have a positive effect on a credit score.
  • Understanding Co-signing: Many parents co-sign for a credit card in their child's name. While this can benefit both parents and students, it is crucial to talk about the benefits and issues of co-signing. Parents can help make sure their child pays bills on time as late payments will impact the co-signer's credit.
  • Be Wary of Offers with Freebies: Use caution when accepting free offers (e.g. Win a new iPad!) in exchange for sharing personal information as it can get in the hands identity thieves.
  • Mix it up with your Password: When creating passwords for your online school accounts, use a random mix of letters and numbers. Doing so makes it harder for identity thieves to discover these codes.
  • Monitoring Credit: A credit report isn't the first thing on a student's mind; TransUnion takes away the hassle for students with Instant Alerts, a feature of TransUnion's credit monitoring membership that provides credit protection by notifying a student the moment that TransUnion finds out that someone has applied for credit in their name.
  • Signing Up for Credit Lock: TransUnion's Credit Lock allows members to lock and unlock their credit simply and in real time using the TransUnion mobile app.

For more information on how to establish good credit, regardless of your age, visit www.TransUnion.com.

About TransUnion
TransUnion Interactive, Inc. is a consumer subsidiary of TransUnion. As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion employs associates in more than 33 countries on five continents. www.transunion.com. Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TransUnion.

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John Branham
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