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Picking and Choosing Among Student Credit Cards

Sep 2, 2007
Are no students able to take care of their money? Would you trust your teenager with a credit card? Well, irrespective of what your personal opinions are, students are increasingly being targeted by credit card companies. This is clearly the "catch 'em young" philosophy in action. There are many detractors to this policy of luring away the younger credit cardholders.

One of the most voiced opinions is that the credit card providers are simply looking at generating higher profits by exploiting the financial inexperience of young people. Teenagers are notorious for being reckless with their cash. In fact, most of us learn to take care of our finances only once we have encountered some cash crunches of our own.

However, perhaps it is time that we agreed that there is sense in the teenagers of the world. With the kind of exposure that the young people of today get, it is quite likely that they know how to avoid entrapment in webs of debt. Moreover, the high school and college years are the easiest years to start planning one's own budget. The experiences that we gain at this time teach us to make the best use of our money. So this is a very good period to introduce your college-goer to the big bad world of credit cards.

Well, credit card companies feel the same way as we do. As a result, college campuses have become the marketplace for many providers. Students are flooded by cards of all colors and sizes from various credit card companies. Many of them offer freebies like t-shirts and caps with the aim of winning students over. At times the offers might sound too good to be true. At such times, students must ensure that they are not taken in by great sales pitches.

Ideally one should be able to procure a credit card that seems affordable. For instance, there is no point in going in for a card that offers and initial interest-free period but whose interest rates may actually be unreasonably high. Ideally, one must look out for cards offering lower rates of interest, say about 16 percent. A card that has a grace period for payment might be a good bet for all the young people who might have a tendency to default on the payments.

Ultimately, what matters is not that your credit card is the cheapest on the market. What matters is how well the student makes use of it. A student who can make and follow his own budget would do well with credit card rewards. And one can always switch credit cards in between -- that's what all the credit card companies are encouraging you to do anyway.
About the Author
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