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The Student Credit FAQ

Dec 30, 2007
Like any topic in life, there are so many questions that go unanswered. When you finally get the answers, it helps better understand the situation. To help better understand students and credit cards, we have compiled a list of a few of the top questions student's have asked and put answers to them to help better your understanding.

What is the APR Rate?

The APR rate is known as the "annual percentage rate". To put it in very simple terms, this is the rate you're going to pay on unpaid balances. Let's say for the month of March, you have a $500 bill and you pay off $300. This will leave you with $200. Now, let's say your APR rate is 20%. You will apply 20% to that $200 that you didn't pay. If you didn't buy anything for the whole next month, your bill total will be $240.

This is why it's important to pay off your bill in time. If you fail to pay off your bill in full each month, the finance charges will hit you hard. This of course, is how the credit card companies stay in business. They rely on people like you.

What is the annual fee?

An annual fee is like a membership fee. You're going to pay this fee yearly regardless of how much you use your credit card. If you use once or a million times, this rate will never change. With an annual fee, you will find that most platinum or cards with a lot perks will have this fee. A majority of the credit cards you do apply for though will not have this. Just make sure that when you apply, you look at the terms and see if the fee exists.

How do I know what to apply for?

When you're applying for your first credit card, it's important that you note a few questions. You'll want to ask yourself, "What kind of credit card rewards do I want?", "How often will I use this?", and "What company do I want to through?" Once you answer all of these questions, you will have a better understanding of what credit card will fit your needs.

You may think that visa and MasterCard are both very similar. This is known to be very untrue. You will see that each card company offer different rates and rewards. The customer service also varies. Make sure that you look around online to see the reviews that people have left for particular companies.

As for the rewards, you will want to look at all of the different rewards you can apply for. Rewards range from gasoline to shopping rewards. All the systems are very similar in where you'll get points for every dollar you spend. Once you receive the points, you'll be able to cash in on your rewards.

In the end, these are some of the top three questions that students ask when they are applying for their first credit card. It's important that you do your research and the best place to do this usually is online. Try to avoid signing up for a free t-shirt or by a mailer. There are so many choices out there and it's your choice to apply. Be responsible and smart and you'll do just fine with a credit card.
About the Author
Find more visa student credit cards at FINDcollegecards where you can find even more of Tom Tessin's articles.
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