You can apply for a student credit card online, at a branch or (in some cases) by phone. To be eligible for approval, student credit card applicants must be at least 18 years old, earn enough income to afford monthly bill payments, and have limited credit or better (just not bad credit). To fill out a student credit card application, you will need to provide your annual income, your Social Security number (or an applicable alternative for international students) and other personal information – usually along with information about your school.
As with any credit card, when you apply for a student credit card, you could receive a decision instantly if you apply online, or it could take as long as 10 business days. It usually takes 7-10 business days to receive a card in the mail after approval.
Student credit card issuers obviously expect applicants to be students, and many require proof. But they all do it a little differently. For example, the Citi Rewards Student Card asks for your school’s details and your expected graduation date on the application, and its terms say the card is for currently-enrolled students only. At least one student credit card, the Capital One Journey Student Credit Card, doesn’t require applicants to be students in its terms and conditions.
Applying for a student credit card might sound complicated and intimidating, especially if it’s your first credit card application. Try not to sweat it, though—the process is fairly simple in reality.
How to Get a Student Credit Card:
Apply online, over the phone, or in-person. Make sure to have your SSN (or accepted alternative) and annual income at hand. If you’re under 21, you’ll need to have independent income to get approved for a credit card.
Wait for a decision. Sometimes, you’ll get an instant decision. If not, the typical waiting period for credit card applications is 7-10 business days.
Watch your mailbox. If you’re denied, the credit card company will send you a letter explaining your denial. If you’re approved, you’ll receive your credit card in the mail 7-10 days after you’re approved.
Student credit cards are a good way for students without much credit history to build credit. Their rewards can also work in a student’s favor. Some offer statement credits for good grades and perks for paying the bill on time. And you definitely need to pay all the bills on time if you want to be successful after you apply for a student credit card.
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