Why College Students Should Have a Credit Card

By ccflyers on August 29, 2007

College credit cards have received some amount of criticism over the years. Critics claim that student credit cards are nothing but a way to trap people early in their lives, and by the time a person graduates he is already in debt. The truth is that there is nothing wrong with a student having a credit card. At the end of the day it does not matter what kind of credit card is being used, what matters is who uses the credit card. Responsible students make the most of the credit card that they are given. In fact, there is very little scope for misuse of a student credit card.

Most student credit cards require a co-signer; the co-signer is usually the parent or guardian of the student. So there is almost no way a student can misuse a credit card without the parent or guardian knowing. This article is not about if a student credit card can be misused or not, the discussion is about why college students should have a credit card. To begin with the topic is not a short one, as there is more than one reason why a student should consider having a credit card.

The first factor in favour of student credit cards is that student credit cards are as good as any emergency fund. Not all students have the luxury of studying close to home; more often than not families are on a tight budget and cannot afford to allocate a vast amount of their resources to their child. Students are well known for their ‘night life’ fascination, and in case of any emergency it is not always possible for parents to make funds available to their child instantly. This is why credit cards are so important for students that are studying away from home. In fact this is perhaps the primary reason that most parents sight for getting their child a student credit card.

Another reason to apply for a student credit card is that a student credit card builds up a credit rating even before a graduate starts working. Most student credit cards do report to the credit bureau and this means that a student is actually building up a credit history even before he applies for a regular credit card. As a matter of fact most credit card companies are more than happy to convert a student credit card to a regular credit card once a student has finished his or her education.

Most critics treat student credit cards as a double edged sword. Students that do not spend responsibly or fail to make payments on time can actually end up with a poor credit rating before they start working, and thus be deprived of cash when they really need it. The truth is that it is up to the students to ensure that they do not hamper their credit rating. Another thing to keep in mind is that student credit card usually have low credit limit this ensures that students do not go on pointless spending sprees.

Students usually complete their education on a student loan; the problem with a student loan is that it does not allocate students funds for stationary, clothing and other sundry expenses that students usually come across on a daily basis. Also student loans do not pay for additional tuition fees; this is where a student credit card comes in handy. Instead of dealing in cash a student can use a student credit card and take care of day to day expenses and also earn rewards points that can be redeemed for other purchases. Also things like stationary, and books can be purchased at much lower price as most student cards are designed to offer students discounts on purchases they are expected to make.

A student credit card’s pros far outweigh its cons, and if used judiciously a student credit can be used for more than just emergency purposes. In addition a student credit card is one of the best ways to build a strong credit history even before a student leaves college and starts working.  Any criticism of student credit cards can be silenced by saying just one thing, its not the gun that kills it’s the person that’s holding it.

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