Are you a college student? How about a parent of a college student? If you answered yes to either question, you may be wondering if carrying a credit card while in school is a good idea.
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this question. Some students benefit from a credit card, while others soon regret going down this path.
Overall, there’s one word that should come to mind when answering this question: responsibility.
Are you responsible enough to carry a credit card? Do you trust that your child will use a credit card in the appropriate manner?
If there is any doubt, it’s best to stick with a “cash system” for the time being. There’s never a good time to take a risk with your financial well-being.
1. Learn to Budget
As a college student, you know that graduation is right around the corner. And at that point, it’s time to move on with the “real world.” And when you find yourself in the real world, money management and budgeting skills will come in handy.
It’s nice if you have some experience under your belt, such as by using a credit card while you’re in college. This gives you a head start, as you already know how to responsibly use a credit card while managing your finances as a whole.
2. Build Credit
One of the biggest financial setbacks new graduates run into is a lack of credit. With little to no credit history, they struggle to rent or buy a home, purchase an automobile, or even sign up for their own cell phone plan.
Through responsible use of a student credit card, you can build your credit while you’re learning. This way, when you graduate, you can hit the ground running. There’s no waiting around to build your credit. You’ll already have a history and strong score.
3. Convenience When Making Purchases
Carrying cash isn’t always the best idea as a college student, as you could lose it or have it stolen. And using a debit card can be a hassle, as you need to track every purchase you make (so you don’t overdraw).
With a credit card, you can put some of these inconveniences to rest.
For example, as long as you know your credit limit and keep your spending in check, you don’t have to record your purchases. Instead, you can simply check your account once a day via your mobile phone.
Regardless of how you feel about student credit cards, learn more about the pros and cons before making up your mind.
Even if you’ve looked down on this in the past, you may change course after you realize the benefits it can bring to you (or your child) now and in the future.
Do you have any experience using a student credit card? Was it a good idea or one that you’ve come to regret?