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Credit Card Tips for College Students

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Don’t let a card choose you. Before you sign up for any credit card, make sure you are getting a good deal. Check the credit card terms very carefully and don’t fall for nonessential freebies. Compare the interest rates and fees among the other credit card offers, and then select the card that best suits your needs. The best card for a student is one that has no annual fees, low credit limit, and a low interest rate.

One card is enough. Once you already have your first card, you may find that credit card issuers will come your way sooner than later. Although the offers can be tempting, you must remember that it’s better to keep your credit cards to a minimum. Not only can each new credit card application lower your credit score, but it might risk you to take on more credit than you can handle.

Only charge what you can afford to pay in cash. If you’re serious about being a responsible credit card holder, you should start to shake off the thought of using your card as a means to buy something that you can’t afford right now but you will “probably” be able to afford later. This is the mentality that brings most credit card users to a lot of debt. Make sure that you are only charging off what you are able to pay in cash right now.

Pay off your balance in full monthly. Establishing the habit of paying off your balances in full every month can help you avoid carrying credit card debt, plus the associated fees when you don’t pay in full.

Stay below your credit limit. The fees for going over your credit limit can be very expensive, and it can trap you into a never-ending cycle as finance charges and fees will make it very hard to go below your limit. Just to be safe, make sure to keep your charges within ten to thirty percent of your credit limit.

Never attempt a cash advance. With a cash advance, not only will you be paying for a cash advance fee, but you’ll also incur finance charges which typically are more expensive than the interest rates on your purchases. If your credit card has a purchase balance, your monthly payments will get split up between the balances so it could really take a while and a lot of money before you can become debt-free.

Have your friends get their own credit cards. By letting a friend use your credit card, you are assuming responsibility over the charges. You will have no control if your friend will pay or not, and even your closest friend can let you down with credit card payments, so to avoid damaging your relationship, better have your friend get his own card.

Don’t expect your parents to bail you out. Don’t make it a habit to run to your parents whenever you got into financial trouble. Keep in mind that one day, you will become independent and have to take responsibility for your own actions.

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