USA   |   UK   |   Australia   |   Canada
ADVERTISEMENT

6 tips for college students considering 1st credit card

Consumer advocates, college officials offer advice

By

Here are six tips offered by consumer advocates and college administrators for students who are solicited by companies offering student credit cards:

1. Walk on by.  Be leery of on-campus or near-campus solicitations by credit card issuers and their representatives. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and in return for that "free" slice of pizza or sandwich, you might find yourself applying for a credit card you do not need and is not right for you.

2. Opt out.  Some colleges give your name, address and e-mail address to credit card issuers as part of marketing deals. If you are overwhelmed by credit card marketing offers, contact the federally mandated credit bureau solicitation "opt-out" list at (888) 5-OPT-OUT, or (888) 567-8688. Placing your name on this list will reduce the number of prescreened credit card offers you receive, but it will not eliminate all offers.

3. Lobby your school. Ask your school not to share student names and other personal information with credit card companies. Ask your student government to support this position.

Credit card videos

For more on this topic, check out this video:
Credit card video: The basics

Credit card video: New rules for credit cards on campus 

4. Pay up, part one. Pay off your balances in full and on time every month. That way, you'll avoid interest charges and all sorts of other potential issues and problems. Paying just the monthly minimum payment amount could keep you in debt for years.

5. Pay up, part two. If you can't pay the full balance, make the largest possible payment every month. Make your payments as early as possible (at least seven to 10 days before it's due) to avoid late charges.

6. Other pesky issues. Watch for changing due dates -- credit card companies sometimes change the date with little notice, nudging some people into late charges. Call your card company and ask for a lower interest rate -- many companies would rather lower your rate than lose your business.

See related: Credit card issuers wear out welcome on campus

Published: December 8, 2008



Join the discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

Three most recent Student credit cards, young credit stories:
  • How to avoid crushing student debt – Saving early, shopping for colleges, applying for grants and scholarships, and working part-time while in college are a few steps that may ease families’ long-term financial burdens ...
  • 8 keys to safe credit, debit card use on campus – Students who enter college also begin a lifelong journey with credit and debit card use. Here is how to do it safely ...
  • 4 reasons why college kids need a credit card – You might want to shelter your college kids from the complicated world of credit (and potential debt) for as long as possible, but at some point they will need to learn the ropes ...

Share This Story




Follow Us!


Credit Card Rate Report

Updated: 11-01-2014

National Average 15.09%
Low Interest 10.37%
Balance Transfer 12.82%
Business 12.85%
Student 13.14%
Cash Back 14.98%
Reward 15.07%
Airline 15.46%
Bad Credit 22.73%
Instant Approval 28.00%

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT