Student Credit Cards 101

By Staff • Page 1 of 1

Last Updated: September 22, 2011

By Staff

If you are just entering university, this is probably the first time you can get a credit card of your own. It’s a good opportunity to establish a credit history, but you should do your homework first.

Think of your credit history like a GPA for your finances—it will be judged in the future for important things like renting an apartment, financing a car, or getting a mortgage.

You will probably see many booths from major banks on campus. These banks are there to get your business because they make money from your credit card debt. Don’t let a free water bottle or beach towel make the decision for you.

There are a lot of credit cards out there, and you definitely want to do some research first. Good information can be found online. Some good places to start include the credit card comparison tool, as well as our personal finance discussion forum.

Some basic features to look at are annual fees, interest rates, and overdraft policies. Beyond those, look for perks—there are options out there for cashback, reward miles, extended warranties on purchases, and more.

Once you have your credit card, don’t go on a shopping spree. While you can now shop online easier and stop carrying cash, you still want to avoid unwanted fees and interest. The best advice is always not to spend money you don’t have.