Yes, it is worth getting a credit card as a student, if you are 18+ years old and have some income. Student credit cards help young adults start building credit history, and they often provide better rewards, interest rates and fees than other types of starter credit cards.
While it can be risky to have a credit card when you are young and inexperienced with personal finance, you can minimize that risk by setting a strict monthly budget, only using the card for purchases you can pay off in full each month, and setting up automatic payments from a bank account. The benefits of a student credit card are well worth it as long as you handle the card responsibly and don't damage your credit.
Why It's Worth Getting a Credit Card as a Student
Credit building: You legally can get your own credit card as soon as you turn 18 years old, which is the typical age for going to college. Student cards let you start building credit right away, which can pay big dividends after college.
Ease of access: Student credit cards are available to students who have little or no existing credit history.
Perks: Many student credit cards offer rewards, and some may have special benefits, like bonuses for good grades.
Low cost: Student credit cards usually have $0 annual fees.
Unsecured: You will not have to put down a security deposit to get a student credit card.
Better terms: The interest rates and fees on student credit cards are often lower than those on other starter credit cards.
Student credit cards have many advantages, so it's definitely worth getting a credit card as a student. And if you use the card responsibly, you could have good (or even excellent) credit by the time you graduate.
Yes, it is a good idea for college students to have a credit card because it is the best way to begin building credit history. Simply owning a credit card account and keeping it in good standing can allow a student to go from having no credit at the start of college to fair or even good credit by graduation.… read full answer
At the very least, college students should have a credit card as an authorized user on a parent’s account. You can build credit as an authorized user while the primary cardholder is responsible for making payments. The primary cardholder can also monitor the account. If there’s any sign of reckless card use, they can remove the authorized user at any time.
What you should know before applying for a student credit card:
Requirements: To qualify for a student credit card, you have to be at least 18 years old and demonstrate the ability to afford monthly bill payments. More specifically, anyone between the ages of 18 and 21 must prove their ability to independently pay back debt before they can own a credit card.
Alternatively, an applicant may have a co-signer who is at least 21 years old. The cosigner would be financially liable for the account. Most credit card companies don’t allow co-signers anymore, though.
What to watch out for: Missing payments and racking up debt are the biggest concerns when it comes to credit cards as a college student. But there are easy ways to minimize the risk while still reaping all the benefits.
For example, you’ll be less likely to miss any due dates if you set up automatic payments from a bank account. You could also pay any annual fee the card may have and then lock the card away somewhere safe – to resist the temptation to overspend. You’ll still build credit that way.
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