While you are thinking about how this next school year will pan out, you might also want to consider the benefits of opening a student credit card if you don’t already have one. Besides classes and extracurricular activities, college is also a great time to start learning about building and managing credit.

Student credit cards provide a great opportunity for young adults to enter the credit world and begin to build a positive credit relationship with their bank or credit union, as well as a solid foundation for their future credit score.

Why get a student credit card now? Banks often understand the student lifestyle and therefore offer credit cards geared toward young adults.

The limits on student credit cards are typically small to help the student learn and practice using credit without going in over their head. The requirements to obtain a student credit card are also a bit different than a typical credit card, making it a bit easier to get approved for a credit card in college than after graduation.

Remember: a good rule of thumb is get credit before you need it.

Starting out with a student credit card while you are in school will allow you a perfect chance to build good credit with a low limit. Then once you have graduated you have achieved two things. 1) You have a credit card. 2) You have established credit history.

I have put together a list of several well known bank-branded student credit cards. These cards have been selected for their ability to provide:

  • Rewards programs for students
  • Benefits for making on time payments
  • Ease and simplicity of understanding/redeeming rewards
  • Ease of use and wide base of business that except the card

Student Credit Cards for Fall 2013

building a good credit score does not come from bad habits. Here are few tips to get you started with your student credit card:

  • Pay all bills on time, even if you can only afford the minimum amount.
  • Spend no more than 50% of your available credit. (Ex: With a $300 limit, try to not spend more than $150 in any statement period). This looks good in the eyes of creditors.
  • Find a way to set up auto pay or bill pay at the credit card website or from your own financial institutions website so you can make payments whenever & wherever.
  • And my last tip for students starting out, only use your student credit card for things you are already buying. This could include cell phone bill, gas, books, groceries, etc. But please, please, please, always remember to STICK WITHIN YOUR BUDGET!

If you are a student or young adult without established credit or without a student credit card now is the time to take action. Take control of your financial future today. Build a strong credit score with a student credit card.