The Ultimate Guide to Getting Your First Ever Student Credit Card
If you are a student who has just learned how to drive a car or is directed to college, most of you may not have been given access to your parents' credit cards. But college student credit cards may provide a solution for young people in need of credit anyway because establishing good credit with student credit cards may be more useful in the long run than using your parent’s credit card. Believe it or not, getting a new student credit card in your name is almost easy - even if you have minimal income, no co-signer, and no credit history.
To get your student credit card, just follow these simple guidelines:
1. Get A Job
If you do not have one already, consider part-time work around campus on in your community. It can be for only a few hours a week on campus. If you are going to have your student credit card, you will need to make payments every month. Having your checking and savings account at a local bank or credit union is also a good idea. Most banks have special student accounts that need a very little deposit to open. Building history at the bank and gaining some savings will give you more chances for credit in the future.
2. Surf the Net
As a college student, you presumably have been blasted with proposals for student credit cards. Maybe you have opened your mail to find a fake credit card inside with your name on it. Or, you have seen those irritating credit card applications that always fall out of your new textbooks. You may have also seen credit card agents with stalls set up on your campus giving away freebies to those who complete an application. Do not take the first offer you get, shop around for the greatest value. The Internet is one of the best places to comparison shop for credit cards.
3. Read the Fine Print
Beware! Not all student credit cards are identical. Some may have excellent pictures that you can pick, such as college logos, sports teams or graphics that act as an extension of your personality. But as the motto goes, "Do not judge a book by its cover." Although all college student credit cards provide you with cash in the form of plastic, they can differ considerably by several factors: credit line extended, annual percentage rates (APR), annual fees, late fees, cash advance fees, over-limit fees, and special perks. APRs can vary from 0% to 29%; annual charges $0 - $50; late and over-limit charges can be as much as $30/month, each. Before you sign on the dotted line, meticulously read the terms and conditions of the student credit card, especially the fine print. Pick the card that offers you the lowest APR and fees.
4. Use It (Wisely) Or Lose It
Many Americans, including college kids, are in debt over the heads. Before getting your student credit card, be sure to know everything about credit. Credit cards make it easy, and tempting, to go on a spending binge. But spend more on your college student credit cards than you make and you will quickly find yourself sinking in debt. High-interest rates, late fees, and over-the-limit fees can cause your monthly balance to get way out of control. If you can not meet your bills, your credit history will be ruined. Bad credit can keep you from obtaining student loans, purchasing a car, acquiring a home... even landing your dream job.
Once you have a job, a bank account, savings and a knowledge of what credit is all about, you are ready for your first student credit card! If you have done your homework, then you can be certain that you will select the college student credit cards that will help you to build your credit. Consume wisely and receive the benefits of good credit history.