Making payments on your student debt while you’re still in school could improve your credit, according to SavingForCollege.com.

That’s because your score is determined in part by your ability to repay debt. You’ll also reduce your debt-to-income ratio — how much you owe, compared with what you make — which is another factor in your credit rating. Even $25 a month can be a help, said Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of SavingforCollege.com.

Your monthly rent may also be another opportunity to raise your credit score. Although these payments aren’t usually reported to credit rating companies, there’s a number of businesses that help you add the transactions to your credit record, according to SavingForCollege.com.

Those include PayLease, Rent Track and Rental Kharma. Some of these companies charge fees, however, and not all credit companies will accept the information.

The three big firms that generate credit reports for consumers are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. You’re allowed a free report from each of these companies a year, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

“It’s important for people to understand that credit is a marathon and not a sprint,” Schulz said. “It’s about doing the right thing over and over again for years and years.”

Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.



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