>> Thursday, February 10, 2011
Evaluating a Student Credit Card
Few students have established credit, and this makes it difficult to obtain a standard credit card (yes, that's why there are cards called "student credit cards"). This can make it quite difficult to get a card with a good interest rate. (A student in the U.S. who is under 21, who can’t prove that he or she has an income, will need a co-signer.) But there are cards available, so don't fret. There are even some credit cards that give students access to rewards programs and low annual fees.
When searching for a student credit card, expect to pay a slightly higher interest rate (no credit history, remember?). Luckily, many come without annual fees, and you will find that many also come with rewards programs that can be reasonably generous. Big caveat: when looking at rewards programs, make sure that you consider flexible rewards cards with a variety of options that you are likely to use. Points can usually be redeemed for entertainment and even cash, so make sure the rewards are actually useful to you..
Wise Use of Your Student Credit Card
When your credit card arrives, you need to be careful how you use it. Yes, it is very easy to go astray and rack up Michael-Jackson-sized debts, even if a private zoo is not what you put on the plastic.
Credit cards open doors to....to...well, just about anything. But when it comes to balancing the books, they only buy you time. And if you buy too much time, that time becomes expensive. Instead of building a reputation for bad credit that will haunt you for years to come, make sure your new credit card builds your financial credibility.