How Will Student Credit Cards Help My Teen?

Posted by Nick Niesen on October 29th, 2010

In countries like USA, Canada, and the UK where college education is expensive, a student credit card proves to be handy in the event of a huge cash crisis. Student credit cards are useful in situations when students desperately need money to pay off their expenses. Major credit card companies like American Express, Visa, and MasterCard offer student credit cards with various incentives. Many credit card companies offer student credit cards with low interest rates and good offers.

Choosing a Good Student Credit Card

Any credit card company that issues a student credit card with low or no interest is good enough. Look for the best student cards - those that lend money at a cheaper rate and for a longer term. Most credit cards offer funds starting at the rate of 19% and higher for students. A personal bank loan can even be in the range of 6%, provided you are eligible for it. Several on-campus sources like student unions, departments, and the university itself along with some private sources, offer scholarships and hardship bursaries.
Many students prefer to own more than one credit card which has its own pros and cons. However, some naïve students pay interests that are as high as 20%. They need to be educated on how to negotiate a good rate, opt for a 0% balance transfer etc. In short, this card, like any other, should be used intelligently and economically.

Tips to Use a Student Credit Card

1. Plan, plan, and plan your budget - Spending can be controlled by planning a budget, thus preventing bad credit. A credit card statement is the best way to decide your budget. List all the weekly and monthly expenses like food, books, bus fare, etc. and prioritize your expenses.
2. Stick to the budget plan - use the card only for unavoidable expenses. Plan the budget well in advance and follow the planned weekly and monthly expenses as you decided. Pay the balances on every statement, in time, and prevent debts from building up.
3. Use your credit card for major purchases - Use the credit card only for big buys and long-term purchases like furniture and books. Some credit cards for college students charge higher interest rates. Hence, to prevent debts and a bad credit record, credit cards for college students need to be used carefully.
4. Avoid overuse - Use the card very cautiously. Avoid overspending, for example, buying CD?s on the internet and spending on beers and sodas for friends.
5. Avoid any help from your parents - Understand your responsibilities and control your spending habits. Use available financial resources judiciously. Parents should stop paying the debts of their wards and teach them to use credit cards intelligently. This also helps in encouraging their children into taking their own responsibilities. Parents can also put a limit on the card to curb splurges.

Effect of a Credit Report

Many employers check the credit report of fresh graduates. Good credit history always helps in getting good job offers. Keep the credit record debt-free before appearing for job interviews. A better alternative to a credit card for a college student is a prepaid debit card. This keeps you out of debt because it sets limits on your spending.

Some parents oppose the idea of providing their children with student credit cards. But these cards help a student learn to be a good manager of available finances. Credit cards for college students help students in obtaining practical experiences of managing available finances. Parents should educate their child about the risk involved in using credit cards. Make them aware of the threats of a debt, even before they enter college. To be on the safer side give them a prepaid debit card to help them avoid a crisis. Therefore, student credit cards actually help the growth of a young individual into a mature one.

Nick Niesen

About the Author

Nick Niesen
Joined: April 29th, 2015
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