For decades, students have been flocking to their colleges’ student centers, makeshift sidewalk kiosks, and websites to sign up for student credit cards. Online student credit card applications can be found in many places all over the ‘Net.
However, there are some significant challenges when it comes to applying for the cards. And, even for those students who do successfully acquire one, they face ongoing challenges as card owners.
Interested in submitting an online student credit card application? Here are 5 things to consider:
1. Congress has passed a law requiring students to get adult co-signers when applying for a credit card:
The U.S. Congress has now made it more difficult than ever for college students to successfully qualify for credit cards. First of all, Congress has outlawed the practice of directly marketing cards to students on the part of major credit card companies. And, students who do sign up (either online or elsewhere) now must now get an adult to co-sign the card. This can pose a challenge for students who don’t have a co-signer or who are looking for independence their parents.
2. The average college student who has a card graduates with thousands in debt:
The other challenge is that students with cards have been graduating with thousands in credit card debt, according to a recent Fannie Mae study. In other words: student life and card don’t mix well together.
3. Consider reserving your card use for emergency situations only:
One way to avoid the possibility of falling into the debt trap that so many have gone before you have done is to go ahead and get a card (with a co-signer) but only use if for emergency situations – but not for day-to-day purchases.
4. For day-to-day use, try the cash-only method:
Then, for day-to-day use, you could just pay cash for everything. The card would be there for emergencies.
5. As an alternative to cash-only, consider a prepaid debit card:
An alternative to a credit card for college is to get a prepaid debit card. It works just like a credit card, and you can use it wherever cards are accepted. The debit card carries a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express logo. However, with a debit card, when you purchase it the card already has a certain value credited to it. Then, you just use it as it if were of the credit variety. The good news is that there is no way to overspend, and you can re-charge it at any time. Moreover, there is no credit check or application process: just buy and start using it immediately.
Consider these 5 things – including the alternative of a prepaid debit card – when thinking about finding an online student credit card application.