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Tips for Using a Student Credit Card

With the plastic era upon us, student credit cards have become a fact of college life. Students can no longer do without a credit card. Many credit card companies set up stalls within the college campus during the first semester to lure students. Just like the ordinary card, student credit cards carry a credit limit, a grace period, an annual fee and overdue charges. When applying for a credit card, every student must remember that he or she is laying the foundation of his creditworthiness. The financial reputation thus established will influence future transactions, like an apartment rental, insurance, car loans etc.

Any future cards you acquire will be offered on the basis of your reliability as ascertained by these records. Before you apply for a student credit card, check out the annual fee, the interest charge, the transaction fee and any other charges levied. Credit terms vary according to the issuer. Consider whether you will be paying off your dues monthly or whether you will pay off purchases over time. To protect your student credit record, take care to use the card properly by: Keep track of all charges Pay dues monthly Never exceed credit limit Avoid over-limit fee If you default and do not pay off your charges, a credit report statement that contains details of your delinquency will be issued by a credit-reporting agency.

Any legitimate business can access this credit report in the future. But without your prior approval, student credit card creditors, employers and insurers cannot get these reports. Negative information can stay on in your report for 7 years and bankruptcy can stay till 10 years. If ever the debt against your student credit card gets out of control, contact the issuer and work out a modified payment plan whereby you will be able to pay manageable and reduced amounts. A majority of students use their student credit cards to 'swipe' almost anything without forethought, and thereby end up still paying off their credit card debts well into their 30s. Undoubtedly, student credit cards make life easy for the cautious student who shops intelligently and manages money carefully.


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