Credit Card Tips

for College Students

1. Choose your first credit card carefully

As a student you will receive many credit card offers, but you must chose wisely. In order to do this it is a good idea to research each card and find the pros and cons of each one to decide which best suits you.

2. Make sure you understand all of the credit card’s terms

People usually don't research credit cards before they get them and then they are charged with something and have no idea what it is, this is because they didn't take the time to understand the terms of their credit card. You should know the APR, introductory rate, the penalty charges, how much it is and when it is applied, etc. before you get the card.

3. Pay your balance on time and in full every month

Once you get behind on one or two monthly payments, you can go downhill quickly. It is essential to keep ahold of all the charges you make to the card and to be sure you can pay the bill when it does come. If you are late on a payment you will be charged with interest and late fees and some people can't afford this, especially college students. If you are unable to pay the full balance, always try to pay more than the minimum payment and earlier in your billing cycle to reduce interest you will accrue. Another way to manage your account is to make multiple payments in one month, but always ensuring those payments total exceed your minimum payment due.

4. Know how much you can afford to charge

One of the most important rules for using a credit card is to always know what you can and cannot afford. If you charge your card with something you know you can't pay off when the bill comes, you can quickly and easily be on your way to debt. Most college students are already in debt from student loans, there really is no need to dig a bigger hole. Just be smart on your spending and don't buy anything you can't live without unless you can afford it.

5. Don’t open too many cards

Just about every shop or store has a credit card offer, even if you shop there often and love going there it is important to not give in. Having too many cards makes it difficult to keep track of your spending and payment due dates, and it also provides too many opportunities to get into debt. When you’re new to using credit, the best thing to do is keep one or two credit cards for your daily spending and stick to just those cards until you’ve gotten the hang of regularly charging your purchases and paying your monthly bills. No need to overcomplicate your financial life before you have to!

citations

"Top Five Credit Card Tips For Students - NerdWallet." NerdWallet. N.p., 18 Jan. 2014. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.


"Credit Card Tips." Smore. N.p., 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.