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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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