Loyola University Chicago

The Graduate School

Credit Cards

Three key things to keep in mind when selecting a credit card:

  1. Annual fee
  2. Interest rate
  3. Rewards

Why have credit card?

  • Credit cards, when used responsibly, help you build your credit, so you can reach future financial goals like buying a house or car.

Pay it off

  • Pay off your credit card balance every month in full to avoid interest, fees, and to boost your credit score.

Where do I find my credit score?

What is it used for?

  • Your credit score is used by lenders to determine your risk level when they are deciding whether or not to give you credit (e.g. car loan, credit card, lease). The score helps determine how much will be lent to you and at what terms.
  • What is a good score?
    • The higher your credit score the better. A higher score means that you are less risky to creditors, and they are more willing to grant you credit. Scores vary from 350–850.
  • Where can I find out my score?
    • Credit scores are available for a fee. Visit this site to find out yours.

Identity protection

Precautions to take to protect identity:

  • Keep printed personal and financial information in a safe place, out of sight.
  • Shred documents that contain your personal information.
  • Use electronic bank statements rather than receiving them by mail. Not only does this save trees, but it also minimizes your chances of mail theft.
  • Check your credit report and score annually, so that you are aware of potential fraudulent activity.
  • Do not give out your Social Security Number unless it is essential.
  • Protect the files on your computer, tablet, and smartphone with firewalls and virus protection. Also, choose strong passwords that are not easy for identity thieves to figure out with your personal information.

Look out for:

  • Strange charges
  • Missing bills
  • Unexpected creditor calls
  • Unexpected rejection for credit and loan applications
  • Altered usernames or passwords

If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, call TransUnion Fraud Assistance Department: 800.680.7289.