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Credit Cards For College Students

Written by Kathleen Gagne
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Credit card companies start to send offers even before students hit campus for their freshman year. This can lead to financial chaos for college students who have no idea how to manage their money. Credit cards for college students can be a real lifesaver or a real disaster, and a lot of how it turns out depends on the interaction between the students and parents before the plastic is in hand.

When your family is discussing finances for the time the student will be in college, you should be very specific in setting initial limits, especially if you're paying for the card for at least the first year. If your student will be managing his/her own finances, it is even more critical to make sure they understand when and how to use the credit card. Discuss such issues as what kinds of things to use the card for and how much more each item or service will cost when the interest rate is added to the purchase.

Credit Cards for College Students and Financial Maturity

Many college students get into serious trouble with as many as a dozen cards in their first year away from home. Yet, managing one or two cards can help a person to become financially astute within a very short period of time. For example, you should encourage your student to pay the card off every month and to refrain from using the card for impulse purchases.

When looking for credit cards for college students, the first step toward financial maturity is to have your child compare offers and to discuss with him/her why one card may be better than another. One more piece of good news when it comes to student credit cards is that some of the major, reputable companies really want their business and, consequently, have developed programs specifically for college students. Look for cards with low rates, no interest for six months, access to credit specialists, and more. There are some great offers out there, and, whether you are a parent or a student, know that a little research can result in a positive credit experience.


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