You probably wonder why you get so many pre-approved credit card and loan offers to welcome you to adulthood.

You think to yourself, “Is this fate’s way of telling me I should get that new iPad and a whole new wardrobe for college?”

Sorry to tell you, but no, it’s not a coincidence nor fate. 1

Once you reach college age, credit card companies and financial institutions start to target you. While building credit is key to a healthy financial future, make sure you understand all the details, like interest and APR rates, and how they can affect your credit score.

“Act now, limited time only” offers are tempting when there is an incentive to sign up. Many students sign up for offers without reading details because of a sweet deal like gift cards, bonus checks and no interest for 12 months companies offer.

After that year of no interest students often find themselves in trouble because they’ve only paid the minimum $35 a month payments or have reached the credit limit. Now they are stuck in debt with a high interest rate to pay off.

Late payments and high balances can negatively affect your credit score, making it tough be approved for credit in the future.

The most common type of credit score lenders review is the FICO (Fair Isaac Corporation) credit score. The second most common type is VantageScore.

Credit scores typically range from 300-850. Each company, FICO & VantageScore, has different factors they use based on information they receive from credit bureaus to calculate your credit score.  

A credit bureau, also known as consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), is an agency that researches and collects credit information from individuals. CRAs then sell that information to credit card companies and financial institutions. There are three major: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax

Maintaining a good credit score is very important to key purchases in your future.

Major financial decisions in your life like starting a business, buying a house, or a new car typically require some type of credit history. Even when renting you first apartment, most landlords/lease offices check your credit score.

Check out these four ways to improve your credit score from Napkin Finance.