Christie Matherne, Credit Card Writer
You can generally apply for a student credit card online or at a branch. In some cases, you can also apply over the phone, depending on the card. To be eligible for approval, 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). Some other personal information might be required as well, along with information about your school. Note that when you apply for a student credit card, you could receive a decision instantly. But in some cases 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.
How to Get a Student Credit Card
- Apply online, over the phone, or in-person. Make sure to have your SSN (or an 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 card issuers obviously expect applicants to be students, and many require proof. But they all do it a little differently. For example, certain cards ask for your school’s details and your expected graduation date on the application. But there is at least one student credit card, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card, that doesn’t require applicants to be students in its terms and conditions.
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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