College students can indeed open their own credit card accounts, even if they have no credit history to speak of. In fact, credit card companies pretty much roll out the red carpet for students in light of their earning potential and decades of forthcoming financial independence – which can, of course, prove to be very profitable for banking institutions.All a student must do to qualify is demonstrate the independent income or assets needed to pay at least their minimum monthly bill (usually around $10 for student cards). However, if that’s not possible, it’s worth looking into having a parent co-sign given the importance of credit building at this stage in your life. As long as you pay your bill on time and avoid maxing out your credit line after opening one of the following cards (some of which are issued by WalletHub partners), you will begin building the credit needed to rent an apartment, buy a car, take out a good loan and save on insurance premiums once you graduate. It may even help you get a job if you plan on working in a field that requires a security clearance or the handling of money. So, make sure to browse the available student credit cards for no credit, including both secured and unsecured offers, and submit an application for the card that will allow you to build credit at the lowest possible cost.…show moreshow less
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Can you get good student credit cards with no credit?
By: John Kiernan, Personal Finance Editor Most students have limited or no credit. So as long as your credit isn’t “bad” because of prior mistakes and you have an active college or university email address, you should be able to get most credit cards branded for student use. That’s why our editors’ picks for the year’s best student credit cards for no credit, selected from 1,000+ available offers, are quite similar to the best overall student cards. You can find them listed by main feature below.
*Partially secured means your credit limit could be higher than your required security deposit.
Getting the right student credit card is only step one. You must also use it responsibly – by paying your bill on time and using only a portion of your credit limit – if you want to build credit and maximize your savings. You can track your progress and get helpful tips for how to improve by signing up for a free WalletHub account.
How old do you need to be to apply for a credit card?
By: John Kiernan, Personal Finance Editor
You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for your own credit card, but you can be an authorized user on a family member’s account before that. Once you turn 18, you should be able to get approved for a starter credit card (look for one with no fees). And f you have trouble, you can simply place a refundable deposit to open a secured credit card or get a co-signer.
A student credit card is a credit card designed specifically for college students. That means you should be able to get approved even with only limited credit experience. You should also be able to get pretty decent terms, including rewards and no annual fee. Credit card companies offer better deals to students than their experience would ordinarily merit because students have above-average earning potential and years of banking needs ahead of them.
Ask the Experts
In search of additional perspectives on the importance of building credit and the best ways to use student credit cards, we posed the following questions to a panel of accounting and finance experts. You can check out their bios and responses below.
How important is it for students with no credit history to get a credit card?
Does being a student make it easier to get a credit card with no prior credit experience?
What are some of the biggest credit-card mistakes that students make?
Is it easier for a student with no credit to get a credit card if he or she goes to an Ivy League school or gets straight A's?
To what extent does having no credit hold back a recent college graduate?
Cris de la Torre Professor of Finance in the Monfort College of Business at University of Northern Colorado
Brandy Hadley Assistant Professor in the Accounting and Finance Department at California State University San Bernardino
Gabriel R. Serna Assistant Professor of Higher Education & Program Leader in the School of Education at Virginia Tech
Rick Shipman Executive Director of Financial Aid at Michigan State University
Kevin M. Lynch Assistant Professor at The American College of Financial Services
Julie Poorman Director of Financial Aid, Student Employment and the Call Center at East Carolina University
Anna Flores Executive Director at Credit Abuse Resistance Education
Sandy Spavone Executive Director at Family, Career and Community Leaders of America
I am using the State Farm Student Visa which I never see listed on articles and comparing to the most popular ones this one have the lowest APR rate from all. It starts at 11.74% - 18.74% and you get Rewards Point redeemable for insurance or whatever you want.
Had I been asked the question, "How can a young person best build a credit history?" my response would have been different. If your intent is to build a credit score for rental and employment purposes, then I would advise a young person to do two things; get a secured credit card and open an installment loan. These are the two major types of credit. Credit cards are revolving credit and obviously, an installment loan is installment credit. The amounts borrowed can be small, under $2500. What is important is to have the loans open for 18-24 months, with absolutely no late payments. Once this is accomplished, you will have a credit score than will generally be considered Fair to Good. (FICO Score) I remain of the opinion that young people should be wary of credit cards, for all the reasons I indicated above. If you can't afford to pay for something in 2-3 pay periods, you need to seriously consider waiting to make the purchase. Most lending institutions consider reasonable a debt load to be a total of 36-38% of your income. That is a great guide to use for anyone, young and older alike.…read more
I currently use the Open SkySM Secured Visa® Credit Card. While it does have a deposit of $200 it does have lower interest rates than similar credit cards. So while coming up with the $200 maybe troublesome for you, it will eventually save you money in the long run. Perfect for those who messed up a bit and have had their credit hurt like myself but don't want to pay absolutely outrageous interest rates.
As a college student with no credit, i found many landlords were unwilling to rent to me. They saw my age, lack of credit, and lack of rental history, and simply turned me away. Finally i found a landlord willing to rent to me, but the message stuck, i needed to build my credit. So i went to my bank and applied for the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Student Card. I already have a checking and savings account with them, and everytime i'm in there they are telling me about this card. I should have taken their advice before, but now i'm on the right track to building up my credit.…read more
I'm a student and have the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Credit Card. After being denied for other credit cards, an employee at my local Wells Fargo branch suggested I apply for this card. I was approved quickly with a pretty high credit limit, despite my very minimal credit history. I like that it uses the same account as my Wells Fargo savings and checking accounts, which makes payments very easy. I also like that this card gives 1-3% cash back on purchases, and has no annual fee. Ideally, I would change the interest rate because it is pretty high, but I pay my bill in full every month so the interest rate doesn't really affect me. I also wish transactions would be processed more quickly, but I imagine this problem isn't exclusive to this specific credit card.…read more
I'm a student and have barely any credit, so a card built for me is hugely appreciated at this point in my life, and I use Discover It for Students. Honestly I'm not thrilled with the APR, which is 11% starting out but quickly grows to 18% or more after a few months. But I understand that since I don't have a credit history I don't have much bargaining power. The 5% cash back on cash and internet deliveries is amazing though, and I've already saved a bunch of money since I got the card. Their app to keep track of my spending is great too, and I think I'll definitely stick with this card until I qualify for a better one.…read more
A teller told me about the Wells Fargo Student Credit card when I went to deposit my financial aide check. I applied right away and was approved. I only had a Capital One Secured card at the time. I was really amazed at how beneficial the Wells Fargo student credit card was for me. It was the first time that I had access to cash back. I started using it as much as I can, then paid the bill off in full each month. There offer many options for how you want to receive the cash back. I normally deposited it into my savings account, but then I switched to have it apply to my bill. The only thing I didn't like was that they started me off with the highest interest rate. I guess it's because I had no credit at the time.…read more
I have the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One. What I like about this card is there is no annual fee and you get 1% cash back on all purchases. It’s a really nice credit card for students because there are a lot of other benefits. For example the rewards don’t expire on this card. I've used other credit cards where I didn't use them enough to get points so my rewards expire and I wasn't able to redeem them because there is a minimum amount before you can cash out. You can also get a higher credit line after making your first 5 payments on time.…read more
I've never specifically had a credit card for students with no credit. However, browsing the cards above, it's something I'm really interested in pursuing. The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students looks is appealing because of the potential to earn bonus points, unlike my current card. Additionally, the regular rates, although somewhat variable, seem to potentially be lower than the rate on my current card. A rate of 13.99% is not bad at all considering my current card has a rate of nearly 20%! I've been a student for such a long time now, I'm shocked to find that I'm only learning the benefits of student credit cards right now. They really are important given that most people in college have virtually no credit history and it's important to build it.…read more
The Wells Fargo Cash Back College Credit Card is amazing. There's no annual fee, which is a big bonus. I spend a lot on gas to commute to school everyday so it's nice to know that when I use this card to buy it, I get some of my hard earned money back. I’ve spent usually maxed out and gotten the 3% back, which is pretty high, but even 1% back would be great for me. I also have a Wells Fargo ATM in my school lobby, which makes it convenient to use the card to withdraw cash if I'm in a pinch.…read more
While there is a definite feeling of accomplishment that comes along with qualifying for a card tailored to those with premium credit, in my experience, many of the perks and benefits that go along with those cards are not of any practical benefit to me.
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