Borrowing: Use—Don't Abuse

Lesson 2-3 Credit Rating

Would you want to loan money to someone who can’t, won’t or will take a long time to pay you back? Lenders, too, don’t want to loan money to people who aren’t responsible about paying it back. If they don’t know anything about someone who is asking to use credit, lenders have methods to predict if the money will be repaid on time. In this lesson you’ll discover ways to make a positive impression on a potential lender.

What You’ll LearnStart the journey to establish a healthy credit rating.

Taking it Home

  • Find out what the late payment penalties are for three different borrowing options you and/or your family currently have or might consider. For each option, determine the last day of the cycle that a payment can be received without being charged a late fee.

Learn More

  • Check out an online Smart About Money course, My Transportation Plan, for a guided experience to decide about leasing or purchasing a vehicle and about paying with cash or credit.
  • Browse any of the three major credit reporting agencies for tips and articles about managing credit and monitoring your credit reports: Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.

Related Resources


Talking Points for Parents

While your teen is learning about borrowing and credit, consider ways to reinforce learning from home.

  • Have a family discussion about borrowing habits and family expectations for borrowing or shared used of a family credit card.
  • Share stories about your early uses of credit and lessons learned about managing credit.