High school students and college freshmen are always receiving all kinds of advertisements in their email boxes, on websites, and even on television regarding the information on applying for and receiving a college credit card. There are so many that offer great incentives that the student may not be able to say ‘no’ to the gimmicks provided by the credit card companies such as the popular pre-approved for a college credit card.
Although it is generally a good idea for college students to have a college credit card, parents should take the time to sit and talk with their soon to college students to help them find the best college credit cards to fit their needs without all the bells and whistles. Parents should be sure their college students understand the terminology, interest rates, introductory offer, rewards, etc. of the different credit card companies. Not only should parents explain the ramifications of a credit card but also what it can do to their credit rating if they do not pay on time and how much more they will be spending in interest on any unpaid balances.
A college credit card can be set up with a modest limit for first-year college students to ensure they learn how to budget before they are given full reign with a larger spending limit, especially if the parents will be making the payments. However, if the college student is making his own monthly payments they will need to learn to budget so they will be able to pay their balance each and every month in a timely manner.
Parents should also aid their college students in searching for a college credit card with a low APR or annual percentage rate. If the student chooses a card with a 0% APR, have them read the fine print to learn just how long this APR will last. Most of the time, this is only an introductory special and will rise within 3 to 12 months. Some low APR college credit cards are much better in the long run than ones that only offer 0% in the beginning and then go up considerably after the introductory period.
Have your college student investigate all the cashback and points carefully before they decide on a card that offers this type of incentive. Many college students may not understand that these points may not be worth the cost and can expire if not used within a certain amount of time such as miles points.
One of the best parts about college credit cards is that today students can access their account online and learn if they are close to getting in trouble before it actually happens and they receive the statement in the mail. This can aid them in learning more about budgeting.
Not only will the student be able to access his college credit card account online but also so can his parents. This way if their student is in trouble, they will be able to help before it is too late.
College students should also only apply for a card that has a fraud and theft prevention feature. There are many other students living in dorms at colleges and you will need to protect your card from theft, which can be very hard with a college student’s busy lifestyle.