How to Find the Best Student Credit Cards, What To Look For and Things to Avoid
A solid credit score will open up all sorts of financial possibilities to college graduates, such as loans and mortgages. You can start working on that score even before you leave college by getting a student credit card.
To start with, have a source of regular, steady income before you think about applying for a credit card. You will be expected to pay a monthly balance and will likely incur penalties if you lose your job and have no safety net of money in your savings.
The most important question is “Which card should I get?” You have to ask yourself what you are looking for in a credit card. Are you looking for a plan that offers cash back? How high an interest rate are you willing to pay? What is your desired credit limit?
A good card will come with a plan that guarantees benefits for its owner. Look for a student credit card that rewards you for good financial behavior and paying your bills on time. As long as you pay more than the minimum when the bill comes in and meet the deadlines, your card should be giving you some kind of reward, along with building up your credit score. Keep an eye on the fine print, and seek the help of someone who is familiar with the jargon and mindset of the credit companies.
There is another type of card, not affiliated with the normal credit card companies like Example Four or Example Six. These other cards are offered by chains of retail stores such as Target. These would be a good investment for students because of the wide range and reasonable prices for the goods at these stores, and they sometimes come with free online shipping. Their interest rates can be high, however, so they are not for everyone.
The wisest way to use a student card is the wisest way to use any card: do not use it for every expense in your life. Use it for small expenses every month, such as one load of groceries and one tank of gas, or for your entertainment budget. Charge small to medium sized amounts that you know you can pay off. Some cards will have a system that accumulates points every time you eat at certain restaurants or movie theaters.
There are some cards which will reward you for maintaining a good GPA in your classes, giving you an incentive to perform well financially and academically. Always read the terms and conditions to see what the card’s interest rate will be, the rewards system for your card, additional fees and penalties for not paying on time, and everything else the credit company and you are both expected to do to fulfill the contract.
Stay careful and sensible, and your card will reward you in many ways in the long run.