Many young people are eager to apply for credit cards when they begin their studies at the college. Unfortunately, many of them misuse their privilege and end up in a large pile of debt that follow after them after they have graduated from college. According to the data of the Federal Reserve Board, young households are the group with the second highest bankruptcy rate. Some college students are able to apply for more than one cards but it is best to always start with one credit card.
Since you are still young and do not have any experience in paying bill, you should just apply for one credit card and make sure you are able to manage in making the repayment promptly. If you can promptly repay one card over a long period for example 1 year, it shows that you have good finance management skills. If you can prove yourself that you can repay one card promptly, it is safe for you to apply for more than one card when you graduate and get a job.
If you settle your credit card bill promptly, you will have a chance to build up your credit score. It can take 6 months to 1 year to see some improvement in your credit score if you punctually make the repayment. Building up your credit score starting from a young age is important especially if you want to be independent and live on your own after getting a job upon graduation. The creditor will want to review your credit score before deciding to approve any loan that you want to take out.
Getting a credit card when you are at college gives you the opportunity to establish your credit history. Creditors want to take a look at the credit history to gauge your ability to repay the loan. You have two options if you want to apply a credit card as a college student. You can either apply a student credit card or secured card. Some student credit cards require a co-signor for example your parents or relatives.
Student credit cards often offer cash back rewards when you spend money as well as cash back for achieving good GPA point. Secured credit card requires a collateral, which is a deposit that is at least $250. Secured credit card can be used for building your credit history and credit score but it won’t offer cash back rewards like student credit cards.
Usually, student credit card has lower limit than the regular credit card so you should use your card carefully in charging your expenses. You should come up with a budget and not spend more than 25% of the credit limit of your credit card.