It’s tough to get credit cards or loans if you don’t already have credit established. So how do you start from the ground floor? Student credit cards can help. Many credit card companies provide student credit cards to those who are presently in college. You’ll probably have a pretty low limit on the card at first unless you have a pretty good income (which, let’s face it, most students don’t), but at least it is somewhere to begin. Here some ways that you can build good credit using your student credit cards.
First of all, while many creditors want to see a history of making payments on time, it is not recommended for students to carry a balance. If you make a few small purchases on your card every month and then pay them off, this will do you the most good. Student credit cards mark a testing period. Credit companies want to make sure you are not going to get into trouble maxing out your card. Only make a big purchase in an emergency (for example, your car broke down, and you need it fixed right away because it’s your only means of getting to school).
Another thing to keep in mind is just to stick to one or at most two student credit cards. The temptation will be there to accept every offer you get, especially once you start to build a little credit and get better offers. Be choosey. Applying for too many cards in a short amount of time can wreck your credit score. Any time you apply for a card, it stays on your record for up to two years. More than three hard checks on your credit by creditors in that amount of time will make you look too desperate to acquire credit.
Finally, never be late with a payment. Late payments are the surest way to tank your credit. Set reminders for yourself whether it be marking your calendar or having the credit card company alert you each month via email or text when your payment is due. First off, being late with a payment can result in hefty penalties. Second, if you completely forget about a payment, it can stay on your credit report for several years.
By following these few simple tips, you can be on the road to successful credit. Having a good credit score affects many aspects of your life, so take it seriously.