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A Guide to Student Credit Cards

Student credit cards are a great way for any young person to establish a credit history. Students who arm themselves with knowledge and exercise discipline often create sound credit foundations to base their financial futures upon. As a credit history records an individual's financial status, with a credit scoring system based upon late payments, bill paying history, account numbers and types, and outstanding debts, individuals must be vigilant in paying bills on time or in full to benefit from any kind of debt, including a student credit cards.

What Are Student Credit Cards?

Student credit cards are designated for young adults seeking to cultivate financial independence. Student credit cards are "starter credit cards" with low credit limits, stringent repayment processes, and slightly reduced reward programs. Student credit cards are not just for wealthy students and are presently considered a social norm. Regardless of economic background, most young adults may easily obtain a student credit credit card. Credit card companies have increased and extended credit card offers to most places students access, at social functions, bookstores, on campus advertisements, and even within mail boxes. As conditions to obtain a student credit card have never been easier to meet, more students have credit cards than ever before.

Student credit cards are issued by many banks and lenders which many students may use their entire lives. Federal regulations limit the availability of credit to college students less than the age of 21 but many credit facilities allow students with no credit history a student credit card. Many student credit card companies may require a co-signor or proof of income while others do not. Some student credit card establishments allow college students the option of using a prepaid student credit card which works similarly to a bank debit card.

Man student credit card offers extend to students with no credit history or those who lack income or a cosigner by offering credit cards with an initially high APR percentage until the credit account repayment history is established. Other student credit card offers allow rewards programs, cash back incentives, or bonuses for students who attain and maintain a specified GPA.

Choosing A Student Credit Card

The best way to choose a student credit card is to investigate many credit card offers and select a student credit card which best suits the student's financial situation. Consulting other students for recommended banks and lending institutions and comparison shopping is often the best way to source a student credit card to establish credit and reap rewards. Many credit card companies offer online or brick and mortar student credit cards. Be certain to consider the longterm affects of having a student credit card in addition to being aware of a credit card's terms of use. Choosing a credit card with no annual fee, no operating expenses, and an option to limit credit availability is often best for students seeking a credit card. Banks and lenders generally extend further credit when requested after a solid credit history is established. Enrolling in a personal finance course to learn and retain financial management skills often allows students to plan for the future and reap the rewards of establishing a solid credit history.

Advantages To Having A Student Credit Card

Obtaining a student credit card has never been easier. Offers for student credit cards are nearly everywhere students are: in campuses, at social functions, in their mail boxes, in bookstores, etc. Credit card companies are well aware of customer loyalty that many students offer. Additionally, credit card companies are also aware that most students lack a consistent income so credit companies earn a tremendous amount of money from late payment penalties, interest frees on unpaid credit card balances, annual fees, and other charges. Students with credit cards must learn how to manage their finances and take charge of their financial status to foster useful and healthy spending. Credit cards can be useful for students during their college years. Credit cards not only help students establish a credit history but also expand buying potential for essential items, like books, and non essential items, like concert tickets. Credit cards are also helpful for financial or medical emergencies, like car repairs or emergency room visits.

Student Credit Card Repayment

Most student credit card companies provide text message and email alerts to as payment reminders in addition to monthly statements. Students with credit cards must consider the amount charged to the credit card and review their monthly statements. It is most beneficial to pay any credit balance in full as soon as a monthly statement is received to avoid any interest. If the balance can not be paid in full, a minimum payment is required. Students who can not pay the minimum payment may refer to a financial counselor for assistance in finding a solution to credit debt repayment. Additionally, students must vigilantly guard against identity theft, by not divulging their credit card account information or social security number via phone or online to protect their credit history and prevent financial problems.

Student Credit Card Warning Signs

Students who have credit cards need to be responsible with their finances and aware of warning signs which could adversely affect their financial futures. Students who pay only the minimum payment each month and maintain a credit balance will accrue interest. Students who fail to make payments on time will be subject to late payment fees which also accrue additional interest until the payment is made. Students who exceed a credit limit by as little as a few cents could potentially harm their credit score. Students who use one credit card to make minimum payments on another are at financial risk. Additionally, students who work extra hours for income to repay credit card balances may have less time to study, drastically impact their academic and financial futures. Contacting a credit counselor offers students with unmanageable credit card debt, who are financially over extended, assistance with protecting their credit rating and finding a solution and repayment plan to alleviate financial difficulties. If a student has a damaged credit history, it is often advised to restore their credit score with a prepaid student credit card.

Summary

Student credit cards allow young adults the opportunity to expand their financial freedom, increase financial responsibility, and provide a platform for establishing credit. Student credit cards reward account holders who maintain their financial obligations with timely repayment while establishing credit ratings. Adversely, students who can not repay student credit cards limit or destroy their credit histories. The responsibility of student credit cards ultimately lies in the hands of the account holder. Many students use credit cards wisely, while others tend to accumulate tremendous debt. The choice is entirely up to the student. The best advice for students with credit card accounts is to protect and build their credit history to cultivate financial skills necessary for the future.

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