August 1, 2018

Should I Get a Credit Card as a College Student?

College Credit Cards Personal Finance

Going to college is a big step towards complete independence for many young adults. College students are adjusting to living apart from their parents, managing their own schedules, and likely taking charge of their finances. One decision college students may face is whether to get a student credit card. In this blog, we will discuss some considerations before making that choice.

Build Up Credit

Credit cards can help young adults with relatively no credit history start to build up their credit. As students take on more responsibilities, like renting their own apartment or purchasing a car, having items appear on their credit report will help them achieve these goals. A good idea is to start small; students can decide to only use their credit for gas or groceries. And remember, it's important to always pay your credit card bill within a month's time frame.

Emergency Insurance

Let's face it - having a credit card can offer peace of mind in case of an emergency. For example, perhaps a college student plans on traveling over a break from classes. Having another form of payment, like a credit card, while on vacation is always a smart idea. Credit cards also offer a backup plan in the case an unexpected purchase comes up, like car repairs.


When students are responsible with their credit card, by paying the full balance every month, they can earn beneficial rewards and cash back. One reward that could really pay are sky miles. If a college student attends school out of state or across the country, these airline miles could make traveling much more affordable.

Financial History

It's important to keep in mind a college student's financial history before making the decision to get a credit card. If a young adult has never had a job, paid any of their own bills, or hasn't managed their own finances at any point, a credit card may not be the best idea. While a credit card can help build up credit history, it can also destroy your credit score quickly. Be sure a student is fully ready for the responsibility of a credit card, and understands the terms and conditions.