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Guide To Finding Your Best Student Credit Card
The credit card you use during your college years should sustain you financially, while enabling you to build a good credit profile. No card should trap you with excess fees, high interest rates, or other terms and conditions which will impair your ability to pay them off. In other words, they should leave you in a better financial position, once college is completed.
The Lifestyle You Lead
Your choice of credit card should be influenced by how you spend. If, for example, your shopping habits are predictable and consistent, consider applying for cards at the places you shop. You may also benefit from cards that reward your purchasing habits. Determine how the card will serve your needs, and then which credit card company or type of card will suit you best.
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Your favorite retailer on or near campus may issue a card with a set spending limit. An initial deposit is usually required, but foregone once you’ve made regular payments for a certain amount of time. This type of credit card can simplify your financial life in college, especially if the retailer carries a variety of merchandise to meet all of your needs.
Your Spending Habits
People who are very careful with money have a greater number of options to choose from generally, because they will most likely not face penalties for excessive or irresponsible usage. If, however, you are prone to go overboard with spending, do so compulsively, or without being able to pay it back promptly, you need to scrutinize the card you choose more carefully. Think about getting a prepaid or secured card; both will limit your ability to put yourself in hot water. A prepaid card works similar to a checking account in that you spend what you have. The secured card also requires financial backing in the form of preexisting funds with the issuer.
Weighing One Card Versus Another
Interest rates are obviously a primary consideration, but not always the most persuasive factor. Consider spending limits, fees, bonuses, cash back or points programs, as well as the APR you will be paying. Make sure the credit card you apply for fits both your lifestyle and spending habits. Since the simple act of applying for an additional card can lower your credit score, avoid applying to everyone available. Monitor your financial health throughout college, and pay in the most responsible manner. Even if you must make sacrifices to keep up with the card, it will be in your best interest in both the short and long-term.
Following your collegiate career, your credit profile should be as ready for the real world as you are. The credit card that helped you through college should enable you to establish yourself as a smart spender, one who is more than capable of managing finances, and being responsible.