You may be able to get a student credit card even if you have no or very little credit history at all. In college, you may not have a lot of money or good credit history. Because of this, it may be difficult to get a regular credit card.
It’s a good thing there are student credit cards available. Students, who typically have modest salaries and little or no credit history, can benefit greatly from these types of credit cards, which are specifically designed to help those with little or no credit.
In this article, we’ll go over how to apply for student credit cards and what to do if you’re turned down.
In 5 steps, learn how to acquire a credit card as a student
The last thing you need to worry about while you’re trying to balance a full-time academic schedule, homework, and perhaps even a part-time job is a long application procedure for a credit card. Fortunately, finding and applying for the ideal student credit card is a simple process.
Make sure you’re eligible
You must satisfy the following requirements to be eligible for a student credit card:
- Credit card providers may require you to provide your school’s details or your college email address when you apply for a credit card.
- Applicants must be at least 18 years old to do so. If you’re under the age of 21, you’ll either need a cosigner or a stable source of income (like a part-time job) to get a credit card.
- If you’re not a US citizen or a permanent resident, you won’t be able to apply.
Investigate the many student credit card options available
It’s important to evaluate numerous credit cards when you’re looking for one of the top credit cards for college students. The following are some things to keep in mind:
- There are two types of APRs. annual percentage rates (APRs) and interest rates. The more you borrow, the more you’ll have to pay back in interest. Each month, pay your debt in full to prevent accruing interest.
- Reward Scheme. Some student credit cards include reward schemes that allow you to get cash back or other advantages for making purchases. Spending money at grocery shops, petrol stations, and even online retailers like Amazon earns you 5 percent cash back each quarter with the Discover it Student Cash Back card. You’ll also get 1% cash back on every other purchase you make.
- Sign-up bonuses. Making regular purchases can earn you a sign-up bonus, which you can then use to fund your account. At the conclusion of your first year, Discover will match all the cash back you earn. To put it another way, Discover will pay you an additional $1,000 if your cash back incentives total $500.
- Online Cash Rewards. When you spend at least $1,000 in the first 90 days after opening your account with the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students, you’ll receive $200 in online cash rewards. Spending money on textbooks or other needs with your card may help you quickly accumulate the bonus.
- Student cards often have a lower credit limit than other cards because of this. If you’ve shown that you can keep up with the payments, certain credit cards will increase your credit limit. The Chase Freedom Student Credit Card, for example, will raise your credit limit after five on-time payments within ten months of account establishment.
- Annual Fee. You may be required to pay an annual fee on some credit cards, even if you do not use the card. Consider a credit card without an annual fee if you’re on a limited budget. The Discover it Student Cash Back Card, the Chase Freedom Student Credit Card, and the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students all come with no annual fee.
- Other advantages include. You may be able to get some additional benefits, such as extended warranty protection or purchase protection, which can safeguard you against the loss or theft of newly purchased goods. Some cards even reward students who do well in school with prizes or other incentives. For every year your GPA is 3.0 or better, you’ll receive a $20 statement credit on your Discover it Student Cash Back card.
Submit your application
You can usually apply for a student credit card online with the majority of major credit card issuers. Although it isn’t uncommon for some firms, such as Chase, to need students to visit a physical location in order to submit an application. Either way, submitting an application is usually a breeze. Your name, address, phone number, and Social Security number are usually requested by the firm.
For example, it may ask you to input your school’s name, what year you are in, whether you are a full-time or part-time student, and how much you presently spend per month on accommodation. Even if you work part-time, you must provide proof of your current earnings.
Upon submitting your application, the credit card provider performs a hard credit pull, which entails requesting a copy of your credit report.
If your application is accepted, you’ll often be notified within minutes. You may be asked for extra information, such as verification that you are a student, by the company in some situations. If that occurs, you’ll receive a letter requesting documentation; each firm should provide you with a list of acceptable evidence types.
You should receive a notice in the mail if your application is rejected by the firm. A poor credit score or insufficient income are two examples.
Don’t overspend on your student loan credit card
The process of establishing a good credit history begins as soon as you are authorized for a student credit card. However, there are a few best practices you should follow to guarantee that you build and keep a solid credit rating:
- Create a Budget. Using a credit card increases your purchasing power, but it’s also easier to go beyond. Set a spending limit for yourself. To avoid this, prepare a monthly budget that outlines all of your typical monthly spending and revenue.
- If you’re tempted to use your credit card to pay for luxuries like clothing or holidays, you’re making an expensive mistake. As an alternative, you can use your credit card exclusively for essential purchases like textbooks and petrol.
- Once a month, pay down the debt on your bank statement. If you pay off your credit card bill in full each month, you can avoid incurring interest on your debt.
- Be on time with all of your payments. The most important component in determining your credit score is making all of your payments on time. Set up recurring payments so you’ll never be late again.
As a result, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved when applying for a credit card.
Can’t get approved? Consider the following choices
Regrettably, not everyone will be eligible for a student credit card. You may not be eligible if you are no longer a student, do not have adequate income, or have a poor credit score. However, don’t give up! There are alternative options for obtaining a credit card and building your credit history:
- Become an Authorized User. If you have a credit-worthy parent or relative, they may allow you to become an authorized user on their account. You’ll be able to make purchases with the card just as you would with a regular credit card, but your parents or relatives will foot the bill.
- Get a credit card that is secured. A credit limit on a secured credit card is set by the deposit you make. Your payment history is reported to the credit bureaus, allowing you to apply for more normal credit cards in the future.
Because of this, college students may begin to establish their credit before they even graduate. Using a student credit card makes it easier to pay for products and builds your credit score than using a standard credit card.