A credit card that is used responsibly can be useful for rebuilding the credit score. If you manage to use the card to build a good credit score, it can provide a good credit reference in the near future when you take out loans after you graduated from the college. Students must be careful on charging the credit cards because they don’t yet have any real income.
Missing a payment can cause the balance to roll over to the next month and the interest rate will accrue to a large sum if you continue to not make the minimum repayment. This can result in bankruptcy which is a mistake that will be noted on the credit report for 7 years. According to the survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Board, young households account for the second highest level of bankruptcy in the USA.
This is the reason why college students should only maintain one credit card for their expenses. As a college student, you only need one card to pay for your expenses and build your credit. The one credit card that you hold is all you need for keeping track of your balance. The card will be covered with fraud protection for losses up to $50. As a student, you can apply for a normal card with your parent acting as the guarantor.
If not, you can apply for a secured card which has a much lower limit. Some secured cards don’t report to credit bureau so make sure to confirm with the credit card company that the secured card reports your monthly repayment to an accredited credit agency like Experian. By reporting to the accredited credit bureau, you will be able to build a credit history as you pay your credit card debt.
Another option is the parent getting an authorized card issued to their child who is a student. The card has certain safety measures and a credit limit is established. To use the card for building good credit history, make sure you don’t exceed more than 25% of the credit line. You should be using cash for most of your daily purchases so that you don’t have to charge the card frequently. To make sure you stay on track with the goal of building your credit score, it is advised that you use an online credit score monitoring tool to monitor your credit score. You must avoid using the card in a WiFi hot spot where a lot of people is sharing the internet because someone could steal your card number when you are using your credit card to buy things online.
If you want, you can have another credit card to be used as a backup in case you forget to bring money in your wallet. So, one card is for carrying a balance on monthly expenses and the second card can be used for emergency expenses. If you are also carrying debit cards, make sure you set up an overdraft protection.