It use to be impossible for students to qualify for a credit card. They use to have to work and save their money the good old fashioned way. Today however students can qualify for credit almost too easily. Credit cards are quite simply a loan given to students that they can pay back. They are usually given at a lower rate and with a low balance so that students don’t get themselves into serious debt. Here are some tips on how to get a credit card or build credit if you are a student and some benefits to having one.
Tip #1: Open a checking and savings account
The best way to start building good credit is to open a checking and savings account. While you are not using credit, you are showing creditors that you are responsible in making money and keeping it. You can use your returned checks to prove your reliability.
Tip #2: Try applying for a college student credit card
There are credit cards that are designed specifically for college students. They have low entry credit limits and don’t usually have an annual fee. The best student credit cards are ones that are free to use, carry low interest rates, and offer some reward programs that you can turn into money, gift cards, or airline vouchers.
Tip #3: Department store credit cards
While these credit cards are not your typical credit cards they can still help to build your credit standing. Usually if you purchase a store credit card the only place you can use it is in that particular store. They can help you learn to manage your money smartly in the hopes that when you do qualify for a regular credit card you will be better equipped to handle it.
What are the benefits of student credit cards
Well, the most obvious benefit to having a credit card for a student is that it helps them build credit so that once they have graduated it is easier for them to get a regular credit card. There are also less obvious advantages to owning a credit card as a student like being able to pay bills and making all sorts of purchases. College students can probably find many uses for a credit card; shopping, groceries, tuition and books, and emergencies. Every college should have a back up; something to be able to use in case the cash flow is low or gone (which happens quite frequently as a student). Establishing credit as a student is a great way to prepare for your future. It helps in buying a home, buying cars, airline tickets online, etc. Building a good credit standing can also help you get loans and avoid potential problems that people with no credit face.
What to look for in a credit card?
It almost sounds as if you’re looking for a date, but seriously shopping for the right credit card is almost as important. When looking for a student credit card it’s a good idea to compare the different types. The four major credit card types are Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. When doing your research look for things like how long the grace period it, the interest rates, late charges, and the APR. Know exactly how they work and learn how to manage yourself and your spending habits.
While it may be important to know how to get a credit card if you are a student, it is equally important (if not more) to understand how to use it. Purchasing and using a credit card can really help you build your credit if it’s used properly.