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HPUser7

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What is the best way to maximize credit over four years?
I am 18 and about to start college. I currently have three credit cards (AMEX - $3000, Discover Secured -$300, and Wells Fargo Visa -$1000) with an income of $13000 per year. I have a 726 TransUnion score and a 705 Equifax score. At this time, I have savings enough to go through college comfortably without taking out a loan. However, I am curious if taking a small student loan out would be better for my credit score (and, if so, what the wisest payment plan would be). Also, would it be wise to apply for additional credit cards now so that I can build history over more accounts and have the inquires go away by the time I graduate? I am not concerned about my ability to manage my cards as I am neurotic enough to keep them under control. Are there other financing options I should undertake to improve my score? I am not looking to make any major purchases (including car insurance) until I graduate in four years, so a temporary dip would be okay with me.

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First great job at already learning and taking care of your credit.  You are off to a great start.  You have 3 credit cards now and that is perfect to start growing your profile.  At this time I would not get another credit card.  Let the ones that you have grow and age and you will be in great shape in four years. 

I would not take out a loan and pay interest just to improve your credit.  Yes it would help you because it would add a "mix" of credit but If that is something that you really want to do I would take out a small ($500 -$1000) secured loan.  The reason I say secured is because normally it would be at a very low interest rate.  This will do the same as a student or car loan. 

Again great job and keep it up. 

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