At almost all colleges and universities these days, there is a ready supply of college student credit cards. But the sad fact is that most students going off to school in today’s world do not understand how to handle financial responsibilities like having a credit card. In the past when they wanted money for something, they either called and begged you for it or they earned it from a part time job they were doing. But outside of you perhaps keeping track of those loans in a notebook, they do not have experience with real credit cards. |
You should consider getting a college student credit card for your child when they go off to school. If you have already gone through the financial pain of having had a child in college before, you understand what I am referring to – you can plan and budget for hours at a time, but there is always something else that the school is holding out their hands to be paid for, whether a text book, a study guide, a parking permit, etc. Think about it, you are sending your son or daughter to college to be educated and learn, not to be stressed about trying to
figure out how to pay for this new expense that they had not budgeted for, which seems to hit them at least every week if not every day. There are also certain distinct advantages to getting a college student credit card for your son or daughter. In addition to the lack of stress about those unexpected expenses that are almost certainly going to pop up, they will be learning about fiscal responsibility. Up to this point in their young lives, the possibility is great that you just did not take the time to teach them about “Basic Finance 101” in terms of having a credit card and taking responsibility for it every month. Who has the time? You and your spouse are probably both working full time in today's world to make ends meet. When your child is in high school, with all the meetings and practices and club gathering and studying, there was precious little time left over for other stuff. Do not berate yourself about that, that is just the way it is in most households in today’s world, and the vast majority of students are in the same boat.
You want to provide for your child every opportunity and advantage that they could have when they have graduated from college, and this is normal. So why not get them a college student credit card so they will have also learned about financial responsibility, since after graduation, they will likely be stressing out about finding a place to live, finding the right new job, making tough decisions about their social life, and so much more. If they have had a college student credit card while in school, they will have learned about the responsibilities that accompany having such a card, like how even minute charges add up at the end of the month, the magic of how much interest can accumulate if they do not pay the balance in full, and perhaps even the embarrassing phone calls from the card issuer when they are overdue with a payment. This is a part of the overall education process as they become acclimated to the real world, and something they need to learn as it will be a part of their world for the rest of their life.
Be careful when establishing a credit limit on that college student credit card. Most card issuers will not give them a huge credit limit, but it should not exceed a few hundred dollars, just enough to cover the incidentals that you did not plan for. You cannot allow the student to be tempted by the aspect of “free money” from a cash advance on their credit card when they are considering a spring break trip to Florida, which is yet another reason to keep the credit limit reasonably low.
You should know that the interest rate that will be assessed on the college student credit card will reflect the fact that the card issuer is taking a chance. A college student typically does not have experience with credit card responsibilities, so the interest is going to be reflective of that risk. But after 6 to 12 consecutive months of timely payments where the minimum due or more has been paid, the student is now in an excellent position to request a reduction in the interest rate, or to shop for a different college student credit card. Jon is a computer engineer who maintains web sites on a variety of topics based on his knowledge and experience. You can read more about College Student Credit Cards at his web site Student Credit Card Resources.
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