College Student Credit – Building Credit as a Student

The Benefits of Building Credit as a Student

During the college years, many students put their focus on getting good grades and completing their exams. Most put no forethought into building credit in college. Their concerns are on landing the perfect job and starting their lives. However, a life without credit can be very difficult, at best. Building college student credit is very important. Since many companies look at the credit report before you can get a job, home, or car, having good college student credit becomes very important.

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College Student Credit Card Benefits

Opening your first credit card, in the college years, can be beneficial both now and in the future. The best student credit cards can help you to establish credit history and a relationship with a credit card company. Though the student finance division of a credit card company may start you with a low credit limit, they will increase that limit as you show creditworthiness. Once you graduate, you will want a larger limit and more perks. When you have a track record of doing well with your college student credit, they are more likely to approve future credit line increase requests. Building credit in college is important for your future.

Build Good Credit Habits

Having a credit card encourages good credit habits. Think of a credit card as a passport into the adult world. It gives you financial responsibilities with bills to pay. For many, a credit card is the first experience that they will have with scheduling bill payments and budgeting. Make sure you always have enough for the minimum payment, if not the entire amount. Miss a payment and the student finance department of the issuing bank will call you, and it will hurt your credit. Building college student credit in college is the first step toward financial independence.

Strengthen An Apartment Rental Application With Established Credit

Once you move out of your college digs, you will want an apartment. You will be thankful that you spent time building credit in college. An adult apartment has strenuous applications that require background and credit checks. Your college credit card will help establish a good track record for repayments. If you are responsible with your credit, then the landlord will likely approve your application for the apartment. Building college student credit can help get your rental application approved. Student finance stability is important in building a credit history.

Get All The Perks Of A Credit Card Earn Rewards

The best student credit cards are the ones that have perks that offer you cash back, rewards or points. Card perks are quite nice, and you can redeem these as soon as you meet the requirements for each.

Prepared for Financial Emergencies?

Your parents will rest easy knowing that you have a credit card to fall back on in case of an emergency. This is especially true if your college is far from home. You can book flights, pay for medical and dental expenses as well as pay for any other needs that you have. Your college student credit cards can give you a backup plan when money is tight.

Build Life Long Financial Habits

Credit management is important, and part of this is monitoring your credit score. There are many credit cards that give you FICO updates on your monthly statements such as Capital One® and Discover it®. You can also get this information online. By getting this information, you can see how your spending and credit card payments are affecting your credit score. A credit card is much more than just a convenient way to pay for college expenses, it can accumulate rewards, give you cash back and help pay for emergencies. College Student Credit Cards help to establish lifelong financial habits, which is why building credit in college is essential.

Why Building Credit in College is Important?

How Can College students Build College Student Credit?

Getting a college student credit card is not as easy as it once was. In 2010, the laws changed. Credit cards and their student finance departments are putting more scrutiny on students to get that credit approval. Unless you can prove that you have a secure form of income, you will need to find a cosigner on your account. You must visit the application page of the student credit offer to know if you qualify. The Discover it® for Student Card is a popular student credit card that offers cashback rewards.


Piggybacking is when you become an authorized user on your parent’s credit cards. You can bypass the student finance department, and just use their card. Not only will you have a higher limit, but you will also have your parents helping in your financial journey. See, if your parents have a great credit score and an impeccable record with a card, all of this will spill over onto your credit report. Essentially, they help you to establish yourself.

Get Your Own College Student Credit Card

If you do have income, you may want to get your own credit card. Remember, not all cards are the same. Look for college student credit cards that have lower interest rates, no annual fees, and rewards. The Journey® Student Credit Card from Capital One® is an example of a student rewards card with no annual fee. If you are an international student the Deserve® Edu Mastercard is a good option.  Store credit cards are often easier to obtain than a major credit card. One easy method for applying for store credit cards is through the shopping cart trick method. Get approved for store-branded credit cards without having established credit.

Pay Your Credit Card Bill Off and On-Time Each Month

It is better to pay your bill off at the end of each month. However, if you cannot afford to do that then you need to make the minimum payment on-time. One missed payment can really mess with your FICO score. You want to make sure that you are not listed as a “slow-pay” on your account.

Use Credit Cards For Emergency Purposes Only

Once you have been approved for a credit card, you need to work on the credit building process. First, you must make sure that you don’t impulse buy and max out your card. Most college students have limited means, so you want to make sure you avoid overspending into your twenties. Try to keep your card for emergencies only. A new purse or a video game doesn’t constitute an emergency.

Building college student credit means that it is a slow and steady process. Did you know that your new credit card won’t be rated until you have six months of payment history? The goal is to pay off the balance on the card each month and keep your credit utilization low. A credit card can be a great tool for those who learn how to use it properly.
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Why a Secured Credit Card May be Your Best Option to Build Credit in College?

The best student credit cards are the ones that will approve you. If you get rejected for a student credit card consider a secured credit card. If you don’t have a parent that can co-sign for you, then you may need to look for a secured credit card as an option. These cards are based on the amount of the deposit you put up front. They can be anywhere from $200 to $5,000.

There are many benefits to having a secured credit card. First, the money you place down to secure the card goes into a “savings” type account. This money is used to fund your purchases. Once secured credit cards were very expensive to obtain. The cost is very low now to use one of these cards. The Capital One® Secured MasterCard® and the Discover it® Secured Credit Card only require security deposits. Secured cards report to the credit bureaus. When you want to build your credit, and are getting denials, then a secured card is the best choice.

Building College Student Credit Takes Time

You won’t build your credit overnight, but getting a head start in college puts you in the forefront for being a responsible adult. Building good habits with a college student credit card now will make you more likely to have better control over your finances in the future. With credit guidelines tightening every day, you want to be ahead of any new and developing regulations. Lastly, make good decisions, and only sign up for the best credit cards out there.

Advertiser Disclosure for the CreditFast website –, provides information about the best credit card applications, as well as other financial products and services. Our goal is to provide you with fair, balanced reviews. Some credit offers that appear on our website are from companies from which CreditFast receives compensation, and some are not.

Monica Kowollik


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