Helpful Credit Card Tips for College Students

We often wonder why credit card companies provide college students with excellent first credit card programs. Aside from receiving very affordable interest rates and fees, college student are also showered with gift items such as T-shirts, beach towels, bags, caps and other free products. What could be the reason behind this “special treatment”?

Well, card issuers understand that college students are potential, lifelong consumers of their card programs. And these kids will continue to spend, spend, and spend using their very first credit cards. According to a 2005 study, an average freshman carries over $1500 worth of credit card debt. And this value is projected to double by the time the student leaves his college or university campus.

Now, are you a college student, who wishes to have and use your very first credit card? If you are, then what tips can you use in applying for and in using your student credit cards? Below we have listed some pointers that college students can employ to succeed in getting a good student credit card program. The tips we have enumerated below will also help our readers in managing credit cards for students in a responsible manner.

Tips for Student Credit Cardholders

1. Find a card with a good rate. Students are easily lured by the zero percentage offers of most card companies. However, they need to look at the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) charged on their respective credit card programs. They need to take their time in finding the student credit card that imposes the most affordable interest rate. This way, they will only need to make small payments on interest in case they are not able to pay in full their credit balance for the month.

2. Avoid student credit cards that charge annual fees. Students should skip cards that charge annual fees. Instead they are encouraged to settle only for the cards that charge the lowest possible interest rate and fees so that they won’t need to spend a lot of money just to get and use their very first credit cards.

3. Beware of reward cards. The idea of earning rewards while you spend is a good promotional strategy employed by card companies. But college students need to remember that they can only redeem the rewards if and only if they are able to spend a great deal of money by using their cards. And this can cause them to accumulate large credit card debts. So, students need to be wary of reward credit cards.

4. Keep it to one card. Even if it might be very easy to get approved for a credit card for students, students must resolve to stick to just one or two credit cards. This way they can minimize the risk of running up more and more debts on their respective cards.

5. Pay on Time. College students must remember to always pay completely their credit card bills, when they are due. This will not just help them avoid paying large interest and fees. This can also help them build a good credit reputation, which determines the credit prospects that will be made available to them.

6. Avoid the cash advance facility of your credit card. Relying too much on the advance cash offered by most student credit cards can prove to be very costly. This is because the cash advance feature normally charges high variable interest rates. Not only that. Consumers may also be required to pay additional finance charges every time they withdraw money using their credit cards. So as much as possible, students must avoid taking cash advance with their credit cards

About the Author

Samantha Wilson is a consultant for credit cards for students. For years she has written student credit card articles that would help build student credit.

Copyright 2010

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