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Build Your Credit While Still in School

Aug 17, 2007
College is a great time to get into trouble with credit cards. It's just so easy to apply for them, sometimes even on campus. But it's also very easy to get into trouble with credit cards while you're that young.

There's nothing wrong with getting a credit card when you're in college. It may even be helpful if you need just a little time to pay for you books and necessities. But many students just can't handle it.

Credit card companies often have relaxed requirements for students. This is because they know that if they can get you as a customer as a college student, they can probably keep you for many years. They also know that many students run up high balances, and so will be paying for a long time.

In other words, it can be a bit risky getting a credit card while you're still a student. There will be temptations to abuse it. But this is one of the best times to establish your credit, when the requirements in order to get a card aren't quite so high as they may be later in life. The trick is remembering not to abuse your card.

That means no running up the bills. Sure, partying with your friends is fun and can add up fast, but how are you going to pay it off? If you can't pay off such things promptly, I don't recommend you use a credit card, even for convenience.

However, learning to use a credit card responsibly is a good idea. If you get one, go ahead and use it just a little. Not so much that you can't pay it off. Get a job if you have to.

What you're trying to do is show that you can be responsible for your credit card. This will help you to establish a nice credit score, which is very important at various times in your life.

A good credit score does more than help you to get good interest rates when you buy a car or a home. It can help you to get lower car insurance rates. Yes, many car insurance companies also look at your credit score. So do some employers.

Despite the "easy money" feeling some people get from having a credit card, there are some definite risks to owning one. It's easy to go overboard and to spend more than you can pay off easily. But if you can learn to manage your money well early on, including a credit card, you will have skills that will help you throughout your life.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://credit-blog.findcreditonline.com/ about credit related issues. Check her website for student credit card offers .
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