If you’re a college student, there’s most likely much more going on in your mind than just getting good grades. When you make it to college, chances are, you are financially responsible for yourself. Credit cards are a great tool that can help you to tackle that responsibility. However, it’s important that you understand what to look for in your first credit card and how to compare them.
Before we get into that, it’s important to us that you understand the responsibility you take when opening a new credit card. Inappropriate use of credit cards could lead to severe financial hardships and even bankruptcy. That being said, only apply for a credit card if you know you’re ready to take on the responsibility that comes with them. If you’re not quite sure what to compare, scroll down to get a good idea of what you should be looking for.
What To Compare with Student Credit Cards
Interest Rates – The first thing that you should take a look at when comparing student credit cards, or any other type of credit card for that matter is the interest rate. If you carry a balance, even a small one, you will see how quickly interest charges add up. That being said, it’s best to look for an offer that provides low, competitive rates. The lower the rate, the more money you stand to save.
Fees – Each card you come across will come with it’s own unique list of fees. Most offers will come with annual fees, balance transfer fees, foreign transaction fees, late payment fees, over limit fees, and more. Before you apply for any credit card, it’s important that you read the terms and conditions, and more importantly compare the fees against another offer or a few other offers to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
Promotions – In the past, it was rare to find student credit cards that offered any form of reward, promotional interest rate, or perk whatsoever. However, competition in the industry has also evolved student credit cards. These days, there are a few options out there for you to possibly earn cash back, gift cards, gas rewards, and more. Although fees and interest rates are much more important that the perks or rewards that may come with the card, if you have a few offers that are closely related, looking at promotions can help as a tiebreaker.
Lender – When you open a new credit card, you’re doing much more than opening an account. You’re starting a financial relationship that will last a long time. For a long time, you will either be happy with your credit card, and using it properly, or you will be upset paying off overwhelming debt. It helps to have a lender that is willing to answer your questions, to guide you in the right direction. That being said, before applying for any credit card, do a bit of research on the lender to see if other people have had a good experience with them. If the overwhelming majority of reviews are good, chances are, you’ll have a good experience as well.