Student Credit Card

Managing Your Student Credit Card

College students experience a lot of firsts during their four years of college, and receiving a credit card is frequently one of them. However, learning how to manage a credit card takes time and patience and an understanding about credit in general. Credit cards are considered an unsecured personal loan and the use reflects on your credit report. Unfortunately, many credit card companies offer free t-shirts or hats on college campuses just to get students to sign up, then when they receive their new credit card it’s as if they had been given free money.

As you can tell, this results in high debt, frequent inability to pay, and negative marks on the students credit more often than not. The credit card companies like this however because when students get in debt the credit card company makes more money. However, students can learn about credit and how to make it work for them rather than against them.

Managing the Credit Cards
When you receive your first credit card your credit limit might be anywhere from $300 to $2500, depending on your circumstances. However, this is not free money and should not be considered as such. Credit is simply the option of charging something that must be paid off within the month or else interest rates will apply. Also, if monthly payments are not made the students debt only increases due to late charges, interest charges, and eventually over the limit fees. In addition to this, the student’s credit will be damaged which is difficult to rebound from. So, how should a college student manage his or her credit card? The answer is easy.

First of all, college students should not apply for more than one credit card and the one should be saved for emergencies only. However, students should not make their decision to apply for a credit card based on the coolest free gift on campus, but rather based on the benefits of the credit card such as interest rate, fees associated with the card, credit limit, customer support, and other benefits and drawbacks. Once the student has located the best credit card then he or she can go ahead and apply for the card. However, when the student receives the card he or she must remember to only use it in the event of an emergency. And an emergency does not constitute a shopping spree, a night out, or even a vacation. An emergency constitutes a flat tire, illness, and other unforeseen events that require immediate financial action. In these instances the student may use the credit card to help them through, but should then focus on paying it off completely within the month if at all possible.

When students follow these suggestions they are guaranteed to maintain good credit because they are managing their credit well. However, many students succumb to the desires of fitting in, having the coolest clothes, going on spring break, and simply overspend on their credit cards and find themselves in a hole they can’t get out of. Because of this it is very important for college students to learn about credit before they ever receive their first credit card.

Pledges should also be completely aware of what they are getting themselves into. Frequently, individuals pledge a fraternity with no idea that they might be beaten, sexually abused, forced to drink a whole bottle of liquor while locked naked in the trunk of a car, or hundreds of other humiliating and tortuous hazing events that take place. If more pledges were aware of what they might experience the amount of pledges would surely drop because one’s life and dignity is not worth trading for some brothers. Besides, would a brother really make you do all of those things?

Learning about Credit
Having a credit card seems like a very grown up thing to most college students, but most are not grown up to realize the impact credit will have on their lives and why it is so important to treat it wisely. For example, having a good credit score affects whether or not you will be approved for a car, house, or private student loan. Having good credit is a requirement for many types of jobs, maybe even the one you are planning on applying for. Also, if you don’t have good credit and are approved for a loan you will surely be required to make a large down payment and will have higher interest rates as a result. Your credit affects many areas of your life and should be taken very seriously because playing around with your credit in college might mean you can’t get the job of your dreams, nor buy the house or car you desire, simply because you have bad credit. Don’t make your life harder than it has to be and guard your credit. Make sure you only use your credit card when it is an emergency, or else when you are sure you will be able to pay the balance at the end of the month. Treating a credit card as additional income to help you live above your means is a surefire way to end up in debt and way over your head. However, treating your credit wisely will be rewarded with low interest rates, no money down, and plenty of other perks that will save you a lot of money.

Written by: Staff Writer
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