Credit Card Advice For College Students

July 22, 2011 by  Filed under: Credit 

If you are a college student, or you are about to start or finish college, you are probably thinking about getting a credit card. At this young age a college student needs to get their first card so that they can enter the adult financial world and start making some purchases that require credit. It is important that you understand these cards and make the right decisions so you can set up your financial future correctly.

The first thing that every college student should know is that they will not be able to get a very good interest rate or credit limit on their first card. This is because they will most likely have a very limited or non-existent credit history and lenders will be unwilling to lend them much money, and they will expect a high interest rate to compensate them for the increased risk of not knowing if you can manage credit properly. This may be a little discouraging, but it is a necessary first step into the world of credit.

When you get your first credit card as a college student one of the most important things to do is to manage it the right way. By making regular purchases on your card and by paying your balances on time or early you will begin to build up a positive credit history for your future. It is very important to start building up this positive credit history while you are young, as when you are older you will need larger amounts of credit to purchase a house or a car and you will need to get the lowest interest rates that you can.

It is also important to think about whether you actually need a credit card, if you have sufficient savings then a debit card will be a much better option for you. This will allow you to make purchase online and anywhere else a credit card is accepted, but you will not be charged any interest on what you purchase.

Be sure to also not go overboard when you get your first card. It can be so addictive to buy now and pay later that you may end up overspending, and like many people, cause yourself significant financial stress.

Try to find a card that is designed specifically for college students. These cards will have a low limit and will likely have rewards that are more targeted towards the younger generation. Sometimes they will also offer you a decent interest rate on these cards because they know it’s your first card, whereas if you apply for a regular card you will get a high interest rate because they will see that you have no credit history. Cards especially designed for students can be found easily with a quick internet search.

For additional tips about college student credit cards have a look at the info on our site. We also have some advice about how to pre qualify for credit cards so that you can get your college student card even faster!

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