Student Credit Cards can be a good thing, many students simply couldn’t finish their education without ‘em, but all student credit cards were not created equally . . . some are good . . . some are better . . . some are b-a-d.
How do you go about choosing the best student credit card available? There are so many things to look out for, and students are not renowned for being the most “studious” of people when it comes to their finances. Many students are at that awkward, in-between stage, it’s their first step into the big wide world of credit and it can be very daunting, not to mention downright financially dangerous with repercussions for years to come.
Whether you decide that a student credit card is right for you is irrelevant really, it’s your prerogative and it’s up to you to decide. Having said that, don’t forget to discuss the pros and cons of having a student credit card with your family plus anybody else who has helped you with your finances. If you do decide to go for a student credit card you just might need a member of your family to sign for you, so it’s important to keep them in the loop, so to speak.
Student Credit Card Checklist
- Student Credit Card Fees – the best things in life are free, and it kinda’ goes without saying that students should stick out for a student credit card with NO ANNUAL FEES. Annual fees really do suck, especially on student credit cards with a limit of around $500, if a credit card company won’t agree to a student credit card with no annual fee then simply walk away – ‘cos you’re sure to find another credit card company who will agree to it. The whole point of your first credit card, possibly a student credit card (apart from giving you that little extra cash, of course) is so that you can start building up a great credit record on a tight budget.
- Student Credit Cards with Low APR – this is important stuff right, so listen up! Your goal is to pay off the monthly balance on your credit card as soon as the bill comes in . . . okay, shit happens and that ain’t always possible, but if shit does happen then you want to be sure to pay as little interest as possible. Lots of student credit cards start off with an APR of around 18% – do your very best to decline and find a lower rate of APR. 18% might not sound like much if you say is quickly enough, but you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll have to pay if it ever equates to actual real money every month.
- Credit Cards with Cash back Rewards – these are the ultimate in cool when you’re talking student credit cards . . . cash back rewards. If you can find a student credit card which offers ‘em, then take ‘em.
Okay, we’ve looked at the criteria you should check out before you get your first student credit card, but what about the stuff they’ll need to know about you? They don’t give out credit cards to just anybody you know, not even student credit cards.
How To Quality For A Student Credit Card
- You’ve gotta’ make sure that you really understand how credit cards work before you get one, this is good advice for your own benefit. Your Mom might have told you the same, and your Dad, and your older geeky brother, but don’t think that they’re just nagging at you, it’s good advice so listen . . . students don’t actually know everything, even if they think that they do.
- The surest way to qualify for a student credit card is to be over 21 years of age and have a job, although you might not be able to fill that criteria in which case there are alternatives. If you are under the age of 21 (which is through no fault of your own now is it) then you have to prove that you can pay charges out of your personal income, or alternatively find some
suckerco-signer who is over the age of 21. Students are not permitted to charge more than 20% of their earnings, so if you need to up your credit limit then you’ll have to get written permission from your co-signer . . . . usually your parents.
- If you already have some type of credit history then the credit card companies will like you, well, they will if you have a good credit history.
- Compare the rates, charges etc. Well, we’re kind of back to where we started at the top of the page really aren’t we?