A Student's Guide to Credit Cards

What students need to know: The good, the bad, the confusing

A student's view on Credit Cards

"Credit Cards seem pointless to me. If I don't have the money for something, I'm not going to buy it.," states Brittney Holliday, a student at Airport High School.

Positives v. Negatives of Credit Cards

Positives:


  1. They are convenient
  2. You don't need to carry cash
  3. You don't have to have the money to buy things
Negatives:


1. You can get carried away easily

2. Interest rates add up quickly

3. You can struggle paying it back

What you should Know:

Credit Cards are plastic cards that you can buy things with. They can be really helpful in some situations and harmful in others. For example, if you had to buy something, and knew you would have the money very soon to pay for it, credit cards can be really helpful. However, if you want something and will not be able to pay it off for a while,credit cards can really harm you. If you plan on only using a card for emergencies, then paying it fully off once used, a credit card is a good thing to have. If you just want it to buy stuff you cannot afford, it is not recommended that you get one.

What you should look for:

In a credit card, it really depends on what you want. If you are going to have to take longer to pay off your card, you should look for a grace period that has the most amount of days. Some cards offer things like flight miles or cash back on purchases. These depend on whether or not you want them. You should look for a card with a low annual percentage rate. Some cards offer 0% APR for a certain amount of time, so be careful to watch for that and to check the rate after that offer expires. You should look for a low interest rate, as well.

What you should be aware of:

When you get a credit card, there are several things to look out for. These include changes in APR, late fees, cash advances, and and other hidden fees. If you are late for paying off your card, you can be charged and your APR may be raised. You can also be charged for things like cash back after purchases, so be aware of this.

Important Credit terms:

APR: The amount per year you are charged for your card

Interest rate: The monthly amount you pay for the card

Grace Period: How long you have to pay off your purchases