If you’re a student, you might be starting to think about your financial future. Buying a home may be many years in the distance, but you’ll still need good credit to buy a car, get an apartment, and in some cases, get a great job. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to take some strategic measures to build your credit history in a responsible way. These three tips below will help you get a leg up on the process.

Signing On To Loans With Your Parents

If you’re lucky enough to have parents with a good credit history, they can be your best advocates in building credit. One creative way to improve your standing is to join as a co-signer to the loans your parents might have. They could get a credit card and add you as a party to the contract. They might even do this with a personal loan. This way, you can piggyback off the effort of your parents while building a positive credit history that will serve you in the future.

Making Use Of A Secured Credit Card

Secured cards are geared toward people who have little credit and hope to build some. With one of these cards, you’ll have to send money up front to guarantee the loan. You can then spend only as much as you’ve sent the credit card company. The benefit is that you’ll get a positive mark on your credit report and your credit score will soar high by making payments on time and keeping your balance low. Secured cards typically come with no fees and may even offer a rewards program to sweeten the deal a bit. Check out these top five secured credit cards to get started on building your credit now.

Taking The Dive Into Real Credit With A Gas-Only Card

If you’re the average college student, you’ll need to buy gas at some point. Many students can qualify for a low-limit card that can be used solely for gas purchases. This will allow you to make planned purchases in a controlled way. Most students won’t spend more than a couple hundred dollars at most per month on their gas purchases. This controlled spending will help you build a positive credit profile that can help you land bigger loans down the road. Learn more about the best gas credit cards to apply for today.

Building credit can be a major challenge for college students. Doing it responsibly and knowledgeably is the best way to do it. While you do want to take steps to prepare for your future, you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you might make mistakes. Set limits, get your parents involved, and use the tools out there in the market that are specifically designed for people like you. There is no shame in starting small to help establish yourself.