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Old 11-30-2012, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Credit Card for Student

Don't mean to duplicate posts, but my response on http://www.thefinanceforums.com/very...card-7561.html has some comments that relate directly to this post.

I got my first credit card in my first year of college. There were offers around every corner (something quite disgusting for college students who typically have little wherewithal or knowledge on how to properly manage a credit card), so it was (and is) important to pick a credit card that is right for your lifestyle whether that be mileage benefits, cash rewards, or other rewards programs. At the time, I didn't even have to provide any documentation showing what my income was in order to determine how much credit I could qualify for. Why is that okay? From the get-go, many companies are setting you up for failure. Why wouldn't a college student with little income per month not say 'sure, I'll take $2,000 of credit!'? 'It's okay, I'll just pay it back when I get that great job'...

With that said, there are lots of good cards available (Chase Freedom card can be good for cash rewards). Try going to Bankrate.com to evaluate different credit card offers depending on your needs and if you want cash rewards or mileage from major airlines.
Pay the credit card in full EVERY month, so you don't carry a balance. Otherwise, the interest that most of the cards charge will far surpass any reward/benefit you would have otherwise received.

Be careful when using credit, and carefully consider your ability to afford what you purchase, as it is too easy to get trapped by spending too much since access to credit can be very easy, but it most assuredly is not cheap.

Use a program like Quicken, Mint.com, Yodlee.com, etc. to get a good idea of what you really can afford each month, and then pay the card in full at the end of the month. The hardest thing about having a credit card is learning the discipline to not overextend yourself.
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