Credit Cards can be a valuable asset for a college student, especially for a student trying to build their credit and start their journey on responsible borrowing and finances.
Here are a few tidbits and things to know for college students when it comes to credit cards.
Start with a Budget
It’s important, in fact it’s very important, to set a budget for spending. The quickest way to get into problems with a credit card is to not track spending and not set goals and limits.
Don’t Go to The Max
A college student’s first credit card will most likely come with a small limit, maybe of just a few hundred dollars. Part of building good credit is not maxing out that limit. Having an available balance is important for building a good credit score, as is paying that balance off each month.
Take it Seriously
Having your own credit card provides buying power, but it can also get a college student who isn’t paying attention to what they are spending money on, or purposefully spending credit on things they don’t need, into big trouble. Take your credit card and your credit card spending very seriously. This is your financial future you’re talking about. If that prospect is important to you, then you should treat it that way.
Understand What You’re Getting Into
Take the time to know your annual percentage rate and understand how compound interest (interest being paid on interest) can quickly pile up if you’re not paying off your card each month.
Ask For Help
If you’re not sure about credit cards or have questions about how they can be beneficial to you during your college career, it’s always a good idea to speak with someone with experience. That may be a professor you’re comfortable with, your family, or even a trusted financial advisor. It’s never too early to get on the right financial track.