Should college students have credit cards?
Being in school can be a scary and trying time. Not only do students usually have limited income, but they also have many unexpected expenses that may come before they have the funds to pay them. As a result of these things, many students choose to apply for and use a credit card. If you’re a student considering this, there are a few questions you should ask yourself. We’ve put together this article with 5 important questions to think about.
How is my Credit Score?
The first thing you want to ask yourself is how your credit score is. There are free websites that will let you sign-up and track your credit score and report as much as you want. These websites will also let you see any debt and past due payments you might have. Once you know what kind of credit score you have, you’ll get a better idea of your approval chances.
Can I Afford the Monthly Payments?
You’ll also want to ask yourself if you can afford the monthly payments. After submitting a credit card application, you’ll know how much your credit limit is. This is the highest amount you can possibly spend every month. Once you pay off the balance, the amount will reset. While you really shouldn’t get too close to your credit limit, you want to make sure you have enough funds to cover the entire limit in case you have to use more funds than expected.
What Revolving Debt Do I Have?
Before adding a credit card, you want to think about any revolving debt you currently have. This can be anything from personal loans, to school loans, to a car loan. You’ll want to make sure you’ll have plenty of funds to pay all of these accounts, as well as a new credit card payment every month. If you find that you won’t be able to afford everything, avoid applying and adding another bill.
Why Do I Need a Credit Card?
An important question to ask yourself is why you need a credit card. A credit card could be very beneficial for those that will be using the funds for everyday purchases because they usually already have this money in their account. They can make the purchase on the credit card, then put the money from their account towards the payment. It could also be beneficial for those that have an unexpected purchase but won’t have the funds until later. As long as you know you can pay your monthly bill, you should be fine.
Are There Benefits or Special Features of the Card?
Finally, you want to ask yourself what kinds of benefits the credit card has. Some will offer cashback, while others will offer gift cards or points that can be redeemed. If you’re looking for a certain type of benefit or feature, you’ll want to make sure you’re applying for cards that offer these things.
After answering all of these questions, you’ll have a better idea if a student credit card is a good idea. In addition, you’ll want to look at all of the information that’s included with any credit card application, including APR, grace periods, and possible fees. If you still aren’t sure if you should get one, talk to a few of your mentors and talk about the situation with them. If you find you can’t afford a credit card, then it’s a good idea to avoid applying.