Student Credit Cards

Many students see the credit card as their own personal leprechaun holding a bottomless pot of gold. To some, student credit cards mean bidding farewell to tuna sandwiches and macaroni and cheese and saying hello to lobster and filet mignon; but this can be a recipe for disaster.

Student credit cards are not just for buying beer kegs and renting cars during spring break, in fact their purpose is quite the opposite. Student credit cards can give students the opportunity to establish a positive credit rating during college, which they can then benefit from later in life when they apply for mortgages and other loans.

The student credit card is usually offered to college students even when they don’t have a regular income. In addition, students usually aren’t required to have one of their parents act as a co-signer for the card, which can allow them to gain a sense of financial freedom and responsibility.

Though student credit cards can be a great way to establish credit, they can also be a great way to destroy it. Many students will obtain these cards and spend frivolously without knowing what they are getting themselves into. The result can be a credit rating that is badly tarnished for years and a large debt that continues to accumulate, which can be especially painful when added to an exorbitant student loan. The key to handling student credit cards is to make absolutely sure that your budget will allow you to make the necessary monthly payments because even though interest rates are generally low on these cards, paying off interest is no way to spend your beer money.

Even though student credit cards are great to have in case of emergency they must be dealt with in a mature way. With no annual fees and no minimum income requirement they can seem almost too good to be true, so any student who applies for one of these cards must understand the repercussions involved with dealing with credit irresponsibly.

Before applying for a student credit card you should keep a few things in mind.

Student Credit Card Tips:

  • Attaining a credit card can help you out when you need money immediately. If you are thinking of traveling a credit card is a must.
  • Dealing with your credit responsibly can mean providing yourself with a good credit history, which can be essential in the future.
  • Credit cards can be useful for making payments on your student loan when you have no other source of income.
  • Credit cards are not a good idea if you think you may not have any income in the foreseeable future.
  • These cards are not for the compulsive shopper or irresponsible spender and under no circumstances should they be taken to nightclubs or bars.

The time you spend at college will build a foundation for the rest of your life and similarly the credit you build or tarnish during this time can greatly affect your future so if you do opt for a student credit card be sure that you can handle the responsibility that comes along with credit card ownership.