Reasons to Get a Student Credit Card

By: Jon Arnold

Many parents are concerned when their children go off to college. Living on your own for the first time is an expensive proposition. That's why it's important to make sure that your child is taken care of financially without having to call home for funds. Getting a student credit card for your child is a better way to provide the money needed to live away from home. If the bills are sent to you, you can even track their spending, something that's hard to do with cash.

Of course, you'll want to be careful. If you're not certain how well your child will deal with the responsibility of the credit card, you may wish to get one that doesn't allow them to take out cash advances. Many students can be tempted by what is apparently "free money", without thinking of the consequences. The money is not free, they are only "renting" it, and the sooner they understand this reality, the better off they will be. For this reason, you'll want to pay close attention to what a student credit card permits.

College is a time for learning new responsibilities, however. There are a number of benefits to providing your child with a student credit card. Here are just a few of them:


  • Your child will learn to manage their financial responsibilities. Remember that you don't have to foot the bill for their student credit card if you choose not to. Instead, your child can get a part time job to pay for non-college related expenses.

  • Your child will learn about interest, particularly if he or she is paying the bills. Interest can accumulate quickly if the bill isn't paid off by the end of the month.

  • Likewise, late payment fees can be an eye opening experience for many young students. College credit cards are more likely to assess this fee than cards given to people with better credit ratings.

  • Learning to budget is an important part of college. If there's only a small amount of credit left on the card, your student will have to learn to plan living expenses and book fees around that amount.


Many credit card companies provide college student credit cards. These often come with a lower credit limit, say around five hundred dollars is common. These cards also often come with higher interest rates, since students are viewed as a greater risk by card companies. Keep this in mind when you choose to get your college student a credit card for personal use.

However, a credit card does offer the opportunity to learn financial responsibility and helps with the transition to adulthood. Having a credit card can also begin to build your child's credit, which will be helpful should he or she want to buy a car or home after graduation. Having one's credit established while they are still in college can be a tremendous asset instead of having to establish credit after graduation, when they are also facing new challenges, like where to find a job in their major.

Credit card companies are anxious to acquire student customers, since they know that a good borrowing experience early on can earn them customers in the future.

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