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August 19th 2003

Students and Credit Cards

Author: Chris Shropshire

Student Credit CardWhen it comes to students and credit, parents have nightmares of this topic. The reason is because the topic has gotten a lot of bad press with all the things that can go on with their child’s credit history. But as I know from personal experience it is something that definitely needs to be taken more seriously. Parents of students need to realize that there are more benefits to a student establishing a good credit history while in college rather than graduating with no credit history at all.

I know that students are practically given credit cards upon entry to college, but if a student can responsibly handle and learn how to manage a credit balance they can obtain a valuable lesson on life by having good credit. Some benefits to having good credit is that your application for an apartment will have a better chance of getting approved, you can obtain a discount on car insurance, as well as have the ability to finance major purchases like those brand new laptops, mobile phones, or a new car that you might want to get after a few years of good credit management. Students need to understand the value of credit, a good definition of credit is having the ability to pay for a good or service in the future while obtaining the good or service during the present.

Some ways to help students work on having good credit is to:

  • Give yourself a monthly allowance that you can pay off within that billing period (often times this is about 20% of one’s budget).
  • Only use your credit card for small purchases when you first receive a credit card (reason being because small purchases can be paid off each month).
  • Pay monthly credit card bill by the due date (if you don’t you can be slammed with late fees and most cards carry other fees after two late payments).
  • Call your credit card company and see if they have report to credit bureaus at least twice a year so that you can get the most recent credit score rating.
  • If you have a student credit card you may quality for discounts on airline tickets, car rentals, and hotel expenses.
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Don't keep applying if you're declined. Too many applications will guarantee you to get declined. Creditors look on your report to see how many times you've applied. Pick the ones you think you can really get approved for.

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