A credit card can be a great advantage to a college student, especially one who is studying far away from home. The rush of college life can give students very little time to line up at the ATM or bank to get the cash they need. A credit card can save them time, since all they have to do is whip it out and have it swiped, provided, of course, that the merchant has the ability to charge purchases to credit cards. A credit card can also give them the chance to buy or charge expensive or emergency purchases, such as hospital bills or laptops, without worrying if they can pay the bill off immediately.
Credit cards, however, can be abused if placed in the wrong hands. Not all college students are aware of the high overdue charges imposed on unpaid bills, and, in the hustle and bustle of schoolwork, are prone to forgetting to pay off their credit card debts. Not all college students are aware of their spending habits, and they may charge too often to their credit card, so that they find out that they are deep in debt only when it is too late. Moreover, not all merchants are equipped with credit card swiping machines, so it can sometimes be difficult to make purchases on important products.
Take all these advantages and disadvantages into consideration when you scrutinize college student credit card offers. Many college students are actually encouraged to get credit cards for themselves, and right out of high school. Some credit card companies offer higher credit limits for students who graduated a certain grade point average; in fact, such credit cards can make great graduation gifts, as they can come with free items that can delight the incoming college student. Other credit card companies offer to maintain this high credit limit for students who maintain a high grade point average throughout college.
There are many incentives associated with school, so take note of such incentives as you examine the college student credit card offered to you. Make sure, however, that you understand all the other incentives well: you might be offered rebates on gas, as well as discounts at stores that sell school supplies, provided that your total purchases reach a certain amount. Although such discounts can look attractive, make sure that the required amount you have to purchase is not too difficult to reach, or is reasonable for both your needs and your ability to pay your credit card debt.
Before filling out the credit card application on your college student credit card offer, study your spending habits for at least a week. How much money do you spend on food? How much do you spend on incidentals, or things that you simply want to enjoy? Do you spend on bars, drinking, and late night escapades? Do you spend a lot on school supplies? Your spending habits will balloon when you have a credit card, so know yourself perfectly well before plunging headlong into that application.
If you think that you can pay off your credit card debt, then read that college student credit card offer carefully, and fill the application out. A college student credit card can give many other incentives, so study these incentives and know the rules and regulations governing the use of the credit card. Know your credit limit well, and take note of the high interest rates imposed on overdue bills. Moreover, set up a method to remind yourself to pay your credit card bills. If possible, set aside a certain amount of money each month that will go into paying your credit card debt.
A college student credit card has many advantages for the wise college student. As long as you know yourself well, and can control your spending habits, you can use the college student credit card without sweating come paying time.