Tips, best credit cards for college students | News
College students, you have to start thinking about building your credit.
* FOR CASH-BACK REWARDS:
CapitalOne's Journey Student Rewards. "This card provides one percent cash-back on all purchases, in addition to a 25 percent cash-back bonus each month that you pay your bills on time," said CardHub.com's CEO and founder Odysseas Papadimitriou.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards for Students. Three percent cash-back on gas, two percent on groceries, one percent cash on all other purchases, but with a $1,500 quarterly spending limit in the gas and grocery categories.
Wells Fargo Cash Back College Student Credit Card. Three percent cash-back on gas, groceries and convenience stores; one percent cash-back on everything else for the first six months, no annual fee.
"While the ability to earn above-average rewards for only six months might not appeal to you, this type of fixed rewards structure is preferable to choosing a card that offers five percent cash-back in rotating spending categories...because you know exactly what you'll earn heightened rewards on and won't have to sign up for anything on a recurring basis," said Papadimitriou. "Besides, it's likely that a college student will be able to qualify for a new offer after about a year of responsible use, anyway."
* FOR ZERO PERCENT APR:
BankAmericard for Students. No interest for the first 15 months, no annual fee. But the rate bumps up to between 10.99 and 20.99 percent after 15 months, so it must be used responsibly.
CARDHUB.COM'S MONEY TIPS FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS:
1. Build Credit: The difference between good, bad, and even limited credit is thousands of dollars and a lot of stress. And since the length of time you’ve been using credit is a critical component of your credit score, it’s definitely worth getting a head start on building a track record of responsible financial management before you graduate. Not only may doing so help you land your dream job or lease a new car, but it will also save you money on major expenses like a mortgage and your annual insurance premiums.
2. Don’t Use Your Credit Card if You Don’t Trust Yourself: Credit cards report to the major credit reports every month whether you make purchases with them or not. While the credit building benefits are more pronounced when you actually use your card, overspending and missing payments is counterproductive. So, if you don’t trust yourself to spend responsibly with plastic, give your card to a parent to hold onto or even consider cutting it up (after noting down your account number in case you need to call customer service, of course).
3. Budget: If you combine credit card use with a well-defined budget while in college, you’ll be well ahead of the curve. Only 2 in 5 consumers have a budget, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, and that’s one of the primary reasons that credit card debt levels are as prodigious as they are. So, figure out how much you can afford to spend overall each month, determine how you want to allocate that amount, review your spending habits and payment habits at the end of each billing cycle, and adjust accordingly.
4. Leverage Your School’s Financial Literacy Resources: Most colleges and universities offer some type of financial literacy resources – whether it’s a personal finance class, a money management help center, or online educational materials. Take advantage of them, especially if doing so will fulfill a curriculum requirement. Learn as much as you can because this information – unlike some of what you’ll learn in college – will translate directly to everyday life.
5. Approach Student Loans with Caution: Taking out a bunch of student loans might not seem like too big of a deal now, considering how long you’ll have to pay them off, but too few students truly consider how big of a burden they can wind up being after graduation.