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School's in on Student Credit Cards

Aug 7, 2008
Going to college for the first time can be a very overwhelming experience. Living in a new environment, making new friends, buying your books, and this is all before you start going to class! With all these new pressures, also comes the responsibility that will last a lifetime; money management. Because you will be concentrating most of your efforts on schooling, credit cards might be a wise financial option. More specifically, you might consider a student credit card, as your first credit card. Student credit cards are a sound choice for those looking to establish a credit history while not breaking the bank. Keep these things in mind when looking for a credit card.

Look For A Good Deal

Although it may be easy for you to secure a student credit card, it's not as easy to also get a good deal. Make sure you shop around before applying. Compare things like interest rates, whether or not the card carries an annual fee, and rewards. Remember to look at rewards and extra benefits with a skeptical eye, as nothing comes without a cost. Above all else, when you are looking for a new credit card, you must always read the terms and conditions. It's amazing how many people don't do this, and the end up paying dearly. Always read the terms and conditions, completely.

Low Annual Fees

If it's possible find a card with no-annual fee. These cards are very common, they just usually do not have as glamorous of a rewards program. If you must choose a card with an annual fee, make sure you know what that fee is, and when it is charged, you do not want to be caught with your pants down.

Student Credit Card Advantages

Buy now and pay later. Although this motto can get you into serious financial trouble, a modest and responsible approach to credit cards can provide substantial buying power and freedom.

The length of your credit history is a major factor in calculating your credit score and longer histories show lenders that you are a low-risk investment. The sooner you get your first credit card, the sooner you can establish a clean credit history.

Student Credit Card Disadvantages

A major drawback to obtaining your first credit card, is that you could possibly overextend yourself. Make timely payments and never spend more than you can afford. The ease of using a credit card can sometimes make it hard to stay within your limits, just remember that everything is going on your permanent financial record.
Along with this, remember that you will now have a financial obligation on a regular schedule and must think ahead as to how you will fulfill this reoccurring obligation.

Bottom Line

The student credit card can be a great stepping stone to a prosperous financial future. The bottom line - Shop around and read all the terms and conditions, don't abuse your credit, and make your payments on time. Follow this advice and you will be just fine.
About the Author
Copyright 2008; Claire Blake. This article may be reprinted on the terms that it remains unchanged and the links stay active. Claire Blake has written numerous articles on credit management and is the first webmaster of a site that offers news and information on credit cards. If you're looking for more information and want to fill out a first credit card application, visit her site today.
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