Student Credit Card Tips You Shouldn’t Miss

So you just got approved for your first credit card! Congratulations! You’re on your way to building your personal credit history.  However, acquiring a student credit card is only the first step.  Building a solid credit standing will largely depend on how you will manage your account.  This post presents practical student credit card tips just for you:

  1. Use your credit line smartly. If you are in the habit of maximizing your limit or exceeding your limit, you will be considered as a “high risk” customer.  Keep in mind that all your credit card activities will be reflected in your credit history so you need to be discreet about using your credit limit.  To maintain a good credit score, keep your monthly charges minimal and avoid using more than 50% of your credit line.
  2. Avoid carrying a balance.  It’s not a good idea to carry a balance.  Some cardholders may think that doing so will help them boost their credit score but is that really true? Not at all! To build a good score, timeliness of payment is a more important factor.  If you can pay your full balance each month, you can greatly minimize the risk of bad debt and you can save yourself from paying interest rate charges.
  3. Avoid additional charges. Remember, you don’t have to pay the interest rate fee as long as you can pay your full balance on time.  You can also save yourself from late fees by submitting your payments on or before your due date.
  4. Consider a student rewards card. If you can pay your full balance each month, then you might as well go for a student rewards credit card.  Thus, you can enjoy bonuses, rebates, discounts and special services which are exclusively offered for members of the reward program.
  5. Monitor your account. Make it habit to examine your monthly credit card bill before posting your payment. This way, you can be assured that all charges in your account are accurate.  If not, you have the right to dispute erroneous charges so you will not need to pay for debts you do not owe.
  6. Don’t charge it all to your student credit card. If you own a student credit card, use it only for important purchases.  Some young people make the mistake of charging daily expenses to their credit cards which is risky because it would be more difficult to keep spending in control.
  7. Get in touch with your issuer. If you’re having problem with your payments, do not ignore your credit card bills. Instead, call up your issuer and request if you can post your payment at a later date.  Ask if the late fee can be waived and for your payment not to be reported as late to protect your credit.  If you have a valid reason for being late, your credit card company would most likely consider your request.
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 2011

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