College students should have a credit card for two reasons: convenience and credit building. The extra spending power that a credit card provides can be a big help in emergency situations. That, plus $0 fraud liability and free replacement cards, should reassure anxious parents. Credit cards are also the best credit building tools that we have available to us because they’re easy to get, can be free to use and don’t force you to go into debt.
Building credit during college is important because it will give you a leg up after graduation. Your credit standing could affect your ability to find a job, place to live, car to drive and more. Plus, it will either save or cost you a lot of money on credit cards, loans and insurance premiums.
Finally, college students can learn a lot from managing their own credit card account. It’s a big responsibility, which demands organization, budgeting and self-control. Getting some practice while you have free time and the stakes are relatively low will help prepare you for the pressures of the “real world.”
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