If you’re a parent or a guardian of a college student, you play a big role in helping young people stay out of bad debt. First, you can help them make the right credit card choice. Next, you can help them realize the responsibilities that come with being a card holder. Yes, the dangers of bad credit can be avoided if youngsters are properly educated.
Choosing the Right College Student Credit Card
Look for a student credit card with low interest. Obviously, a lower interest rate would mean bigger savings. Nevertheless, make sure that the low interest credit card doesn’t have hidden charges or unfair conditions.
Avoid student credit cards with annual fees. Annual fees can unnecessarily add up to your costs. There are many credit cards for students that offer great deals with no annual fees at all.
Check credit card review websites. To get a better idea about student credit cards, read online reviews online. Doing so will help you narrow down your choices without having to jump from one credit card website to the next.
Read the fine print. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, read the Terms & Conditions of each card first before making your final choice.
Avoid submitting multiple credit card applications at once. Young people are easily enticed by freebies. But sending in too many applications at a time can cause you to have more cards than you can handle. If this is your first time to own a credit card, it’s best to stick with just one.
Using a Credit Card Responsibly
Never max out your credit limit. As much as possible, never use more than 40% of your available credit. This will lessen the risk of bad debt and protect your credit score as well.
Don’t use your student credit card for luxuries. Owning a credit card is not a pass for splurging. Keep in mind that you have an obligation to pay your debts on time.
Monitor your credit card account. Practice good financial habits by checking your account regularly. Take advantage of the online access option that many student credit cards offer.
Never use your student credit card for cash advances. If you’re badly in need cash, ask your parents first rather than just taking it out from your card. Cash advances are not covered by the grace period and usually the interest is higher than the APR for purchases.
Don’t be content with just the minimum. Rather than just submitting the minimum due, pay off your balances in full each month.
Always pay your bills on time. If you want to build a solid credit history, pay off your balances on time at all times.