Choosing a student credit card can be fun, but it can also be a little scary too. It’s fun because a new credit card in hand gives you sense of financial freedom, but it’s a bit scary because that little piece of plastic can also lead to debt. With the shape our country is in financially, that alone should be a huge reminder of just how important it is to be smart with your credit. Credit cards are a great way to build a solid credit history, but you have to be smart. Check out our list of top student credit cards on the market today. This article will give you a few tips on some of the things you should consider when you are applying for a student credit card. There are many great offers out there that can help you get on a path to financial success, but remember – YOU HAVE TO PAY IT BACK!
Don’t Just Go With The First Offer
It might be tempting to just sign up for the first credit card offer that comes your way, especially if the offer has a nice bonus. Don’t fall for the free t-shirt or concert tickets! Student card offer are readily available so there is no need to settle. If it’s a bonus you are looking for then you can get a bonus without compromising all the other features you should have like a good rate.
That’s right, credit cards have fees! Keep an eye out for things like application fees and annual fees. The truth is, there is no reason to pay an application fee. There are many great card offers out there that don’t charge an application fee, so this is one fee you should and can avoid. When it comes to annual fees they aren’t always a bad thing. In most cases, when you are paying an annual fee it’s a trade off for something else. For example, many times cards that offer rewards programs or nice bonus offers have an annual fee. You have to determine if paying the annual fee in exchange for a sweet bonus offer is worth it.
Find Out What The APR Is
Always check to see what the interest rate is of the card before you apply. There are some cards out there that charge 50 plus percent in interest. That is ridiculous! One of the main things to consider is the rate. Typically, a good rate is 12% – 20%, with 20% being on the high end. If you don’t have good credit or you haven’t established a credit history yet, chances are you are going to get a higher rate, close to 20%. There is no reason to go with a card that has a rate higher than 20%.
Don’t Apply For Too Many Offers
Every time you apply for credit your credit score takes a hit. Now, if you have good credit then this might not be such a big deal. However, if your credit is a little shaky, it might hurt. Generally, a credit inquiry knocks your score down about 2 to 3 points. If you apply for 10 different cards then you can see how this might really affect you. Having all those inquiries doesn’t look good and could be enough to keep you from getting approved for a student card. Be selective and don’t apply for every offer that comes your way!