Are you a college student wondering whether getting a credit card is the right thing to do at this moment? Or maybe you are a concerned parent who wants the best for their children? Credit cards can land anyone in trouble if used irresponsibly. It doesn’t matter whether the user is a college student or a person in their fifties.
To answer your question: Yes, I think a college student should have credit cards. They might be a novice when it comes to managing their finances and making smart financial decisions, but without getting started, they will never learn. Besides, a college student has very little scope of earning money. A part-time job does not pay well and there are restrictions to how much they can earn(for foreign students).
Here are some ways in which getting a credit card can be beneficial to a college student.
1. Learn good money habits
You cannot learn how to manage your finances without going into debt. Borrowing money from banks is a tried and tested way of getting yourself out of a financial crisis. There is nothing wrong with that. By getting a credit card at an early age, you learn to spend within your limits, set money aside to pay your bills, etc.
2. Earn handsome rewards
Rewards and cashback are two perks that every credit has to offer. House/Dormitory rent, books, tuition fees, eating out in a restaurant, etc, are some of the common expenses a student has. You can earn reward points by using your credit card to pay for the above-mentioned expenses. Once you have enough points, you can either use them to purchase something or redeem those points into cash.
3. Built credit right from a young age
Having a good credit history is very important when it comes to getting a loan or a mortgage in the future. A good credit score automatically qualifies for some of the low-interest loans. You cannot build good credit within being in debt.
For a student, a secured credit card is the best as they don’t have to worry about overspending(you can only spend the money you have). Secured credit cards are specifically meant for people who have a bad or no credit history and want to increase their credit score.
4. You don’t have to borrow money from friends and family
In this age of easily available no-interest loans, it is a bad idea to borrow money from a friend or a family member. Borrowing money not only harms the relationship but also is not profitable for the lender. Usually, people do not talk about interest while borrowing money from someone they know very well. It is supposed to be a favor, so both parties assume there is going to be no interest in this transaction. Just think about it, they could easily invest that money in something that provides better returns.
To reiterate, getting a credit card is a good thing for a student if they use it responsibly. You can either apply for a secured credit card or become an authorized user on your parent’s account. The procedure for getting a secure credit is quite straightforward as there is no risk for the issuer. On the other hand, as an authorized user, you get the benefit to apply for an unsecured credit card.