A student credit card can be a beneficial payment choice for school expenditures and emergency expenses because it is simpler to qualify for than a standard credit card. Using your credit card and paying all of your payments on time can also help you build good credit in the future.
Steps to Obtaining a Student Credit Card
Obtaining a student credit card is less complicated than you might believe. You may usually apply online and find out whether you’ve been authorized (or not) in minutes.
Follow these steps to ensure that the application process runs as smoothly as possible:
1. Look at your credit report.
Make specific your credit reports are correct before applying for a credit card. It might be tough to qualify for a credit card if there is inaccurate information, predominantly if it depicts you in a negative light. Your credit score is calculated using data from your credit reports.
A credit report does not have to be repaid. AnnualCreditReport.com allows you to examine your credit reports from all three credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—for free.
If you see an error, you should inform the appropriate credit bureau. Instructions for doing so can be found on each of the bureau’s websites.
2. Shop around for student credit cards
There are a variety of student credit cards available. Pay special attention to the following details while weighing your options:
Rate of Annual Percentage Charge (APR). The annual percentage rate (APR) on student cards can be pretty high. If you carry a load from month to month, the APR will influence the amount of interest you pay and how your debt grows over time.
Fees. Annual fees, setup costs, and monthly maintenance fees are all charged by some credit cards. Several cards are available now that do not charge these fees, so shop around to save money.
Rewards. With several student credit cards, you can earn rewards on specific purchases, such as gas or groceries. Depending on the card you use, you could get cash back, airline miles, or points that you can redeem for gift cards or items. If you want to earn points, seek a card that has a rewards program that matches your spending habits.
3. Examine the Issuer’s Eligibility Criteria
The eligibility conditions for student credit cards can differ from one provider to the next. However, you must meet the following standards in general:
- You must be at least 18 years old to participate.
- You must be a current college student.
- A source of income or a co-signer is required.
- A Social Security number is required. assemble documentation
You may be required to produce proof of income and enrollment in college, depending on the card issuer. Collect documents ahead of time to save time. W-2 tax paperwork, a recent pay stub, and your college admission letter or transcripts are all examples. Although the issuer may not need you to supply the original documents, you can use them to complete the application.
5. If necessary, have a parent or relative co-sign your application.
If you’re under 21 and don’t have enough money on your own, you’ll need someone to co-sign your credit card application with a steady salary and strong credit. As long as the person is over 21.1, a co-signer can be a parent, relative, or even a close friend.
Before asking someone to co-sign an application, keep in mind that the co-signer is liable for making payments on your card if you default, so it’s not something, they (or you) should take lightly.
6. Complete and submit your application
A student credit card application is frequently completed online. You’ll usually get a response within a few minutes after submitting it. If your application requires additional examination, the procedure may take longer; however, if you are approved, you will be notified shortly, and your card will be mailed to you.
If your application is declined, you will receive a letter from the card issuer explaining why. While receiving an adverse action letter can be discouraging, it can also help you figure out what you need to do differently the next time you apply.