There are 5 common mistakes with associated with applications for student cards you should heed before signing up for your first credit card account.
Learning how to apply for credit in the best possible way will save you money, time and frustration in the months and year to come.
Heading to college for the first time is exciting. This may be the very first time you’ve lived on your own with no one to monitor when you come and go. For students who have no experience in money management, the college experience of using credit cards can be a financial debacle.
1. Understanding Credit Card Use
When you shopped for the clothes you will wear at school, did your Mother pay with cash, write a check, or use a credit card? At the end of a nice dinner out with your family, does your father calculate a tip in cash or produce a credit card and sign a slip? Chances are he often produces a credit card.
Many children today grow up watching their parents choose one of many credit cards in their wallet to pay for every purchase. What they don’t see are the bills that arrive monthly and the interest charged on credit debt listed on those bills.
Associating the use of a credit card with the obligation to pay cash at a later time is a connection that should be made before you apply for a student card.
2. Online Applications
Chances are you will apply for a new account online. Online applications have become totally accepted by consumers. Some applications may be approved in only a couple of minutes or you may be told you will receive a letter with a decision shortly. Once approved, your new credit card is mailed to you within a week or so.
Online access has a higher use for new student card users. When you access your account online, be certain to check that the url displayed in the address bar of your browser is a secure site. A secured website will begin with https:// rather than the standard http:// of other sites you visit.
Avoid lenders that do not provide real time online access to your credit account. When you are new to credit debt you may want to check your balance and analyze your charges frequently to be sure you aren’t not overspending.
3. Choose a Credit Card that Suits Your Lifestyle
The lifestyle of the typical college student is one of a frantic pace day after day. Living with other students in a dorm or with roommates in an apartment is a unique experience.
You are responsible for deciding what and where to eat, must do your own laundry and cleaning and will be learning to be responsible for everyday responsibilities at the same time you are attending classes and studying.
It’s is a mistake to apply for a credit card that will not fill the needs of your hectic schedule. Avoid applying for a student card that does not carry a popular logo such as MasterCard or Visa. Students need credit cards that are accepted widely by merchants for all their purchases.
4. Interest Rates and Fees
Avoid credit cards with high interest rates even if they carry attractive rewards programs. Building up high numbers of airline miles isn’t wise if your credit card’s APR is 20% or more for the privilege of earning those miles.
The 0% interest rates offers as introductory enticements for college students are only a great deal if the interest rate after the introductory period passes is a rate that makes sense.
5. Read the Fine Print
Look for the details that aren’t mentioned in the sale copy inviting you to apply for the lender’s credit card. Read the fine print thoroughly to avoid being surprised by excessive fees to replace a lost or stolen card or lack of a grace period before interest is charged on purchases you make.
Know what fee is charged for payments made late or for charging more than the credit limit for your account. Avoid application for a student card with an annual fee unless it also offers an exceptionally low interest rate.
Understanding the 5 common mistakes with applications for student cards will help you find the ideal student card for your needs.