Credit cards come with a variety of confusing terms. If you are just getting started in the world of credit, or you are already overwhelmed by your debt, it can be difficult to know when to get a credit card and when to use it. According to Experian statistics for the fourth quarter of 2021, some 61% of all 18-year-old adults have at least one credit account with an average outstanding balance of more than $3,500. That is a great deal to owe if you are just beginning to live on your own, and can’t quite afford to pay all of your bills right now.
Some credit cards are unsecured, and some require collateral, such as a down payment. Others, called secured cards, carry fees for balance transfers and penalties for early payments. The best way to decide which type of credit card will fit you best is to understand the difference between these two types and when you should apply for one based on your credit history.
Unsecured credit cards are available to anyone regardless of their credit history. You do not need to provide any collateral to secure the card, so lenders are not concerned what your financial situation looks like. With an unsecured credit card, you are responsible for paying your bill on time every month. You cannot, however, use this type of card for emergencies, and you must pay the full amount before your grace period expires.
Secured credit cards come in two forms: secured and unsecured. Banks issue them as part of normal banking operations. When you apply for one of these accounts, you will be granted either an unsecured or a secured credit card. With an unsecured card, you must have a good credit history. With a secured card, you must have a co-signor who can vouch for your credit history.
When should I get a student credit card? Students who are enrolled full time at a college or university and have excellent credit should consider obtaining one. It allows them to build a good credit report that banks and other reputable institutions will use when they make lending decisions. A student credit card is separate from a regular card and will carry different features and limits. Students can only use the card for specific purchases, and they may not carry any cash or other valuable assets with them when they use the card.
Another reason students should consider obtaining one of these cards is if they don’t qualify for standard credit cards due to lack of payment history on other financial transactions. Unsecured credit cards for students can be issued faster than most standard cards. Plus, they often carry less stringent requirements for usage. Students are often times less likely to default on their monthly payments if they have a student credit card.
As you can see, there are many benefits when it comes to unsecured credit cards for students. If you are a student with poor credit, this might be the best way for you to start rebuilding your credit. But just like anything else, you need to make sure you use it responsibly and do not let it go unpaid. And keep in mind that even though you are a student, your credit history is still as important as if you were an adult.
So when should I get a credit card when I get a degree? That answer should depend upon your individual circumstances. For some, a student card might be the perfect solution to help rebuild their credit. For others, it may not be necessary. It all depends upon your situation and what you want to use the credit card for.
Negou Seid is a Software Engineer, Business owner and loves writing useful blogs.