College can be a time of learning, a time of adventure, and a time of stress. Many of those stresses spring from bills. From student loans to textbooks, college life is expensive. Many students sign up for student credit cards during college.
Student credit cards are granted to any member of the academic community regardless of whether a student is part time or full time, undergraduate or graduate, international students who are visiting, working or studying in the US, school staffs either full time or part time faculty and administrators who are ages 16 year old and above. For those students who are less than 18 years of age consent from the parents or the guardian is required.
Applying for a student credit card is advised since it can help students in creating their credit history which they will need in the future especially in obtaining loans including car, housing or even cash loans. A great number of international students and scholars find it really difficult to obtain a credit card since they lack a credit card history. In order for them to build a credit card history they should have a credit card or at least have a history in paying off debts of whatever type. It is actually a frustrating situation especially if you are badly in need of financial assistance. Many international students who applied for a credit card have been rejected.
How can I obtain a student credit card?
Before applying for your credit card, keep in mind that this should not be a free pass to buy anything you want. Make sure you will be able to make your monthly payments!
1. It always better to obtain a secured credit card to help you in building your credit history. Inquire in your bank whether they are offering secured credit card. A secured credit card is a type of credit card with a deposit. The deposit becomes your credit line. This means that when you reach your credit line you need to pay off or else your credit card is going to be suspended. If you can religiously pay your monthly credit bills then you will be able to build a more reliable credit history.
2. Student credit cards are open to students who have lived in the United States before or for some time so an international student will still have the chance to obtain credit card.
3. For full time student you may contact your bank in order to apply for a student credit card. Your bank will handle your credit card request.
4. There are cases when your application for a student credit card is denied; when this happens you need to find someone who has a good credit standing to act as your guarantor.
Benefits derived from obtaining a student credit card:
Student credit cards help students to learn how to become responsible, especially in terms of handling money. By wisely using these cards students are able to start boosting their credit scores. A student credit card is also a great way of teaching students about interest and debt. With correct and proper guidance, students will be able to gain more benefits from obtaining a student credit card.
The disadvantages of student credit cards:
A student credit card when not used responsibly can result to a great amount of debt that follows a student even after he or she graduated from college. The reason for this is that often times students max out their cards especially those without any money managing skills have the trouble understanding that a credit card is not „FREE MONEY“. It is a debt that needs to be repaid.
Sometimes students have very little income which makes it difficult to pay on these credit card bills. Each month, the bill continues to rise and become more overwhelming. Often, late payments and interest begins to accumulate, making it harder for students to repay the debt. The minimum payment just isn’t enough to put a dent in the problem.
In signing up for a student credit card remember that you and you alone are responsible for paying your bills so be responsible in your expenses. Control yourself from overspending on things that you don’t need.
You're burdened with crushing debt and at the end of your rope. There's got to be a way out. You go to the door every day, expecting bad news. Your minimum credit card payments are eating up most of your paycheck every two weeks. You can't go to dinner, go on a trip, or save for your kid's education, and it just keeps getting worse. You're using your credit cards for living expenses now. This really sucks!
Many people are finding themselves in this situation; the "Credit Card Death Spiral". As the nation's credit card burden continues to climb, the number of people facing this credit nightmare is increasing at a frightening rate. It happens for many reasons and is depressing and debilitating. Credit card companies have relaxed the initial requirements to get a card in the last few years. The change is allowing people with marginal credit scores to get a number of credit cards. In addition, many of these cards have higher credit limits than in the past. This combination has encouraged many consumers to take on much higher levels of debt than in the past.
In addition to the relaxation of credit card requirements, lenders are changing the way they do business once a consumer has the card. In the past banks and other credit card issuers would not let you charge over your credit limit. This has changed. Now, many financial institutions will accept a charge even if it puts the account over the credit limit. When the account goes over the limit, they charge a hefty fee, raise the card holder's rate, or both. Many credit card issuers are doing this and it can raise
rates on a credit card to over 40%!
Here's one common scenario. You have a card with a 12% rate and a $5,000.00 credit limit. Your card's current balance is $4,475.00 and you're picking up some clothes and school supplies at a back to school sale. You visit a few stores and pick up some items. Like most people, you don't have your exact account balance memorized. Your last purchase takes you a just few dollars over your limit. The charge is approved anyway.
Imagine your surprise when you get your next credit card statement. Your interest rate has been raised to 30% and your minimum payment, which had been $88.00, is now $168.00.
To really pour salt in your wounds, the bank has added a $39.95 charge for exceeding your credit limit. It gets much worse. Not only does the 29% interest rate apply to the purchases you just made, it applies to your credit card's entire balance!
This type of scenario occurs hundreds of times every day. If left unchecked, you'll enter the "Credit Card Death Spiral" that many times ends in bankruptcy or, at least, a horrible credit picture. There are ways to escape this chain of events. One choice for many is through a debt consolidation loan.
A consolidation loan consolidates the borrower's debts by paying off the smaller loans with one larger loan. This type of loan typically uses equity in the borrower's home as collateral for the loan. Having a secured loan enables the interest rate to be much, much lower than the unsecured credit card loan. The lower rate creates one payment that is substantially lower than the total of the previous credit card payments.