CREDIT SCORE: The Basics for my “Gen Zs”

ID 123687108 © Chichka |

The question should not be can HE pay your bills. The question should be can YOU PAY YOUR OWN BILLS.

Landing the perfect job with a reasonable salary is only part of the equation when it comes to your success as you transition into adulthood. When you find that perfect apartment after graduation and your parents have not only refused to pay for it but have also refused to co-sign for it, your CREDIT SCORE is going to all of a sudden be the most important thing in the world to you. Or, when you get ready to buy that hot, new car. It is your CREDIT SCORE, along with your salary, that will be the difference between the hot car being a dream or reality for you.


In the U.S., your credit score is commonly known as your FICO Score. It is called a FICO score because the Fair Isaac Corporation is responsible for creating this magical set of numbers that stand between you and that car or apartment of your dreams.

The magical FICO numbers range between 300 and 850.

In general, scores:
BELOW 600 mean you are going to have to move home for a little while, continue driving the car your parents gave you, and focus on saving and paying off any debt you have. BEWARE: While paying off debt is a good thing, it does not mean your score will automatically go from 600 to 850. This is why it is so important that you take care of your credit like you would that new Louis Vuitton purse you purchased with that credit card you got in college.

BETWEEN 600-649 is still considered poor credit, so don’t run out and apply for that new luxury apartment just yet. You will be denied.

BETWEEN 650-699 is FAIR. At this point, it is okay to start to have visions of one day entertaining your friends in your beautiful, new digs.

BETWEEN 700-749 is GOOD. YOU ACTUALLY MIGHT QUALIFY FOR THAT NEW APARTMENT and a couple of pieces of new furniture.

BETWEEN 750-850 is SUPER!! Soon you will be able to sleep in, clean up whenever you get ready, and blast your music without disturbing your parents (although your neighbors might be annoyed). You are definitely getting your new apartment! OF COURSE, YOU MUST REMEMBER you have to pay the rent on time, every month. So, before you submit that application, sit down and create a budget to make sure you can truly afford the apartment of your dreams. You don’t want to have to move back into your parents home, do you? Trust me, they are happier when you are on your own too.

Your FICO score is not some arbitrary number created by a mystical elf. Your score is something that you have absolute control over because it is determined by looking at your habits in these five areas:

  1. Your payment history. DO YOU PAY YOUR BILLS ON TIME?
  2. Your current level of indebtedness. DO YOU OWE MORE MONEY THAN YOU MAKE?
  3. Types of credit used. WHAT ARE YOU GETTING CREDIT FOR?
  4. Length of credit history. HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE CREDIT GAME FOR A MINUTE? Okay, well, this one, you might not have that much control over.
  5. New credit accounts. ARE YOU CREDIT CRAZY?

The moral to the story…

Be wise and smart when it comes to your spending habits at an early age. If you cannot pay cash for it and you are still a college student, working a part-time job, you probably shouldn’t charge it on your credit card. If you get a credit card, then you should pay it off each month. Although you might have to pass on that hot girl spring break with your friends, no worries, your responsible behavior will pay off down the road. Not only will you have plenty of hot woman summers, you will not worry about where the money is going to come from to pay for your hot woman summer trips.

No worries. I’m not going to leave you hanging. More credit knowledge to come.

Much Love,


Published by Tonza D. Ruffin

Perfectly Imperfect but VERY PROUD WOMAN, MOM, LAWYER, and AUTHOR, but most importantly...LIFE LOVER! I laugh loud, I work hard, I play hard, I am adventurous, I am curious, I am driven, I have moments of deep insecurity, I am loving, I am vulnerable, I am explosive (not one of my finer qualities), I dance around my house alone, I am an awful perfectionist which makes my insecurity worse, I sing out loud in my car without any concern for whose watching, I have trust issues, I do not live through my children, I no longer try to force my children into the mold that I created so that I could feel validated as a mother, I am a risk-taker, I am guarded in my personal life, I am kind, I am grateful. I am so excited about the rest of my life!

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