Are you interested in applying for a student credit card? Are you ready to make your move, but have some concerns about how it’ll impact your finances?
With so many benefits (more on this below), you may soon realize that a student credit card is just what you need to improve your financial circumstances.
If you’re hoping to apply for and secure a student credit card in the near future, answer these five questions as soon as possible:
1. How will you use the card?
Don’t apply for a student credit card with the idea that you can spend recklessly. Instead, you should have a basic overview of how you’ll use the card. Here are some ideas to consider:
- To pay for school supplies, such as text books
- To pay for food
- To pay for transportation around campus and to and from home
- To pay for an emergency, such as a car repair
- For entertainment purposes (within reason, of course)
2. Who will pay the bill?
If you have your own income source, you don’t need a co-signer for your student credit card. However, if a parent or another loved one agrees to co-sign, get a better idea of who will pay the bill.
If it’s your sole responsibility to pay the bill each month, you need to create a budget to ensure that you have the money to do so.
Conversely, if your co-signer is helping you, set ground rules for spending. Overspending can result in a disagreement and strained relationship.
3. Which student credit card is best?
There’s no easy answer to this question, as it depends primarily on your personal wants and needs. Focus on these points during your search:
- Safety and security
- Potential credit limit
- Rewards and bonuses
- Online account management
- Customer service
Once you know what’s most important to you, it becomes easier to focus in on the three to five student credit cards that best suit your needs.
4. How will you avoid overspending?
Once you get your hands on your first credit card, you’ll realize that you have a big responsibility. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to overspend month after month.
It’s critical to have a strategy to avoid overspending, such as setting a budget for how much you’ll put on your credit card each month.
Tip: get into the habit of regularly reviewing your account online. This is where you’ll find your balance, past purchases, and other key details. The information you collect here can help prevent overspending.
5. Do you understand the benefits?
Don’t apply for a student credit card because you think it’s the right thing to do or because your friends already have one. Apply for a student credit card because you understand the benefits and how they’ll improve your finances.
Maybe you’re most interested in a student credit card because of the way it’ll help you organize your money. Or maybe you’re most interested because of the opportunity to earn rewards.
As long as you understand the benefits, it’s easier to choose the right student credit card and then manage it responsibly.
Would you add any other questions to the five above?