Young people are advised to start building their credit as early as possible. Once you are in college, you can send an application to the credit card company of your choice. Once you get approved, you can start purchasing items with your new account.
Since you have limited to no credit history, you may find it difficult to get approved for a credit card account. However, there are credit cards that are especially designed for students. Note that there are federal laws that restrict those under the age of 21 in getting a credit card. If you are below the said age, you can talk to your parents or guardian and have them sign as your guarantor.
Under the CARD Act of 2009, you are no longer allowed to use your parents’ income to qualify for a card. This is applicable even if they will pay your credit card bills for you. If you really want an account, you should have a part time job that pays well. This way, the credit card company knows that you can pay for your credit purchases. If you do not have a job or you can’t find one, you can still get a credit card provided that you have a cosigner.
Before you submit an application, make sure that you have taken the time to compare credit cards. It would be best for you to choose one that offers the best interest rate. You should also inspect the introductory rate, determine how long it will last, and know the regular rate once the introductory period expires. Some cards have low interest rates, but they make up for it by charging very high fees. You might want to avoid these types of cards and those that charge annual fees and application fees.
There are student credit cards that offer benefits or rewards to the cardholders. Take advantage of those offers but guarantee there are no unreasonably high payments to make. You should understand that your credit card is a tool to build your credit and not as a source of funds. Ensure that you can make regular payments while maintaining a low balance. When everything is set, you can start completing your application.
You can visit your bank to see if you qualify for a credit card. You can also fill out an application form online. Some pieces of information that are often required include your social security number, contact information, and address. If you will apply at a bank and you do not have a job, bring your cosigner with you. He or she should be able to provide income and employment details.
You can directly send the form back to your bank or you can mail it to them. Online applications are viewed as the most convenient nowadays since you can quickly submit the form with just one click. Some issuers provide instant approval or denial so you will know the result within just a few minutes.
Once you get approved for a credit card, pay all your bills on time and in full. Do not go over your credit limit and use your card wisely. This way, you can graduate from school without debts to worry about.
Here are some college student cards that may be perfect for you: