If you are a college student, there is a good chance that you already understand the importance of having a credit card. It can help you out when times get tough, and college students will often find themselves in a desperate need for funds to pay for school supplies, entertainment, and various other things while they are away from home. Although a credit card is certainly necessary to have if you are a student, it is important to keep in mind that there are ways to get yourself in trouble with credit cards. Since you probably already have student loans, it is a bad idea to accumulate too much debt from your credit card while you are in college. Here are some credit card tips for college students.
Choose the Right Credit Card
It is a good idea to make sure that you choose the right credit card if you are a student. You will want to look for one that has a low interest rate and cash back rewards if you want to save as much money as possible. If you travel often to and from school, you may want to consider an airline credit card so that you can earn points that you can turn in for future travel. The actual card issuer (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) is less important than the rewards and terms you get with your card. Regardless of which type of card you choose, be sure to do some comparison shopping before deciding on the credit card that seems most suitable for you. You will probably thank yourself for it in the long run.
Avoid Making Major Purchases
One of the biggest mistakes made by all college students is making major purchases with their credit cards. Although it may seem like a good idea to pay for your tuition or books with a credit card, it’s important to keep in mind that you are going to have to pay interest if you do not pay your bill right away. At the same time, do not make purchases which are too small because interest will cause you to spend much more than you normally would have.
Try to Pay With Cash Whenever Possible
College students should try to pay with cash whenever possible. This will prevent you from using your credit card to buy small items that you could just pay for upfront. Of course, it is also important to be realistic. Many college students only work part-time, so having cash available at all times is probably somewhat unlikely.
These are just a few of the things that college students can do in order to prevent themselves from owing too much money due to inappropriate credit card use. Since credit card debt is a problem that affects so many college students, it’s important to treat your own credit card like a privilege. If you feel that you will be unable to use your credit card wisely, then it may be a good idea to avoid having one at all if you are a college student! If you decide that you can use a card wisely, you may definitely want to look at available low interest or airline credit card offers. Make your decision about which to apply for after reading all of the terms and conditions, and stick to good usage habits.