Students may start thinking about credit cards as early as their first year in high school, but generally these cards are offered to high school juniors, seniors, and even college students. The idea is to help students that will be going off into the real world in the near future build their credit so when they are out there they can rely on the buying power that many of us need when we set out on our own for the first time. When to get one of these cards is really something that each person needs to consider for themselves. A student credit card can be a very useful thing to have, but not everyone is ready at the same time.
A good time to get a student credit card is when you have a job. If you do not have a job you likely do not have the funds that you need to repay the credit card company with the purchases. If a parent would like to help you establish some credit you may want to get with them and determine how much they are willing to help you each month so you can plan accordingly. Having one of these cards means being responsible and paying off your charges in a timely manner.
Another way to know if you are ready is if you have been able to handle financial responsibility in the past. Many students don’t realize how big of a responsibility their credit card is, but it is huge. When you start using a credit card you are essentially using someone else’s money to buy the things that you want or need. You need to pay back the money, plus interest, if you want to keep using the card and having access to the lenders money. If you have experience with paying bills or you have had to pay back debts in the past you may find that repaying the debts associated with a credit card is not at all difficult.
A credit card can be the most effective when someone understands how to use it, all of the terminology associated with it, and what it means to be responsible with their credit. Many students do really well with credit if their parents sit down and give them some education about the credit system or if they take a course offered by a bank or financial specialist about how to responsibly use credit. While many students may not think such education is necessary, it usually ends up being very beneficial in the long run.
Any time is a good time to get a student credit card, but the right time is different from student to student. While borrowers don’t need their parents permission to get a credit card, it is a good idea for parents and students to work together to establish great credit practices because the credit history of the borrower will be affected from day one based on the usage and payment practices of the individual.