Many banks and companies which offer student credit cards require the student to have a co-signer as their form of collateral or insurance. The co-signer must sign off on the credit card. If for whatever reason the student cannot make his or her payments; it would then fall on the co-signer to make the payments. Normally, a guardian or parent is the co-signer. They give the credit card companies piece of mind, that even if the student does not follow through with paying for debt, the co-signer will.
Student credit cards often come with a higher interest rate or APR. This helps to reduce the risk the bank or company takes by issuing a credit card to a student. Often times, the spending limit is considerably less than more traditional credit cards. They average spending limit is between $250-$800. The reason for this is that most students have not established any type of credit, therefore they will not have a good credit rating.
When a student is planning on making a large purchase, he or she can greatly benefit from a student credit card. In order to make a large purchase, you generally need good credit. This is where a student credit card comes into play. You can use the credit card to establish good credit and as a stepping stone to building credit in general. By achieving a high credit rating using your credit card, when the time comes that you need a larger loan, changes are you will have a much easier time obtaining one.
Another great benefit to student credit cards, are they give the students a sense of responsibility. Even though the spending limit is considerably less, they work like most other credit cards. After the student has mastered using the credit card, they can then manage their overall money better. These types of credit cards are an excellent opportunity for the students to learn money skills that will last them a lifetime.
With all of the great benefits of student credit cards, they can still be dangerous, just like more traditional credit cards. Students can still fall into the pitfall of overspending. If the student racks up more credit card debt than they are able to pay, this will have a negative affect on their credit rating. If the debt falls on the co-signer, it could then affect their credit rating as well. Therefore, it is essential that students all have a budget in place before using any credit card.
Overall, student credit cards are a great thing to have. For college students and high school students, such cards are a great way to learn responsibility, as well as the sense of freedom. They can be useful during an emergency, which could be reason enough to obtain one. If your daughter or son is in school, you may want to consider a student credit card. They can not only help establish their credit, they can teach them many life lessons.