As students step into the world of credit, it's good to have someone you can turn to for advice. Lini Zhang, Denison’s Financial Wellness Counselor offers these tips for students.
What attributes would you say the best student credit cards share?
The most important attribute that student credit cards should have is to give full consideration to students with limited credit history and income. Others include:
- Good student credit cards should have no annual fee and low annual percentage rate (APR).
- Another great feature is a fixed statement closing date and payment due date so that it is easier for students to manage.
- In addition, a good student credit card offers good rewards programs such as Cash Back Rewards and Good Grades Rewards.
- Finally, a good credit card should not provide a high credit line (above $1,000) to students with limited credit history.
What is the best way for a college student to use a credit card?
The advantages of credit cards, including convenience, security (the ability to dispute charges), and rewards, often lead to higher risk for impulsive buying and overspending.
For college students, I would suggest checking your balance in your bank account to ensure you have enough money to pay off your credit card balance before using your credit card. Only use the credit card when you are 100% sure that you have enough money to pay off your full balance.
After using a credit card, be sure to pay off your total statement balance during the grace period to avoid any interest and late fee charges. The grace period refers to the days between the statement closing date and the due date. You don’t need to pay any interest if you pay your entire balance by the due date each month.