Whether you’re staying close to home at community college, moving a few hours away or even a few states away, transitioning into the college life brings newfound independence. For many new college bound students, this is a major milestone where you”ll embark on many new adventures, including preparing for the bumpy road ahead, called life after college.
Part of becoming independent in college is learning how to manage finances without mom and dad”s help. You may not even learn this lesson in a lecture hall. Although the road to financial independence may be rocky at first, there are tools that can help you along the way.
Although the CARD Act restricts credit card companies from promoting new credit cards to students on or off campus at college-sponsored events, plastic is still within their reach. And applying for a credit card as a student may not be such a bad idea for those looking to establish a financial foundation early on.
By having a credit card students learn the value of money. They begin to understand that money is not free, as each month they pay their credit card balance. This teaches students to be more cautious with their spending, leading them to create a budget. Having a credit card also allows students to build credit history, which is crucial to purchase a vehicle or a home.
For the Weekend Road Trip Minded Student
There are tons of credit cards out there for students to choose from, but if you have a fondness for hitting the open road on the weekends, the Discover Student Open Road Card may be your perfect road trip companion.
With two percent cash back bonuses on all gas station and restaurant purchases, you can rack up a decent amount of rewards from your excursions. But the cash rewards don’t stop there. You can earn cash bonuses on everyday purchases as well as 20 percent bonus deals through the Discover online shopping mall, ShopDiscover.
This card also offers free 24/7 travel assistance and rental car insurance. This added bonus can really if you’re stuck and need to get back for that important exam you’ve been studying so hard for, or during the holidays when it’s time to visit family and you need that added assurance for safe travels.
The Discover Student Open Road Card offers a fraud liability guarantee complete with free fraud alerts for advanced warning should your card become stolen or lost. Students with this card also benefit from financial tools for smarter spending and payment management including text and email payment reminders and account alerts.
This card comes at no annual fee, with a sign on bonus of zero percent purchase APR for 9 months, and 12.99 to 18.99 percent variable APR ongoing.
As a new cardholder, and likely a first timer, students often have limited or no credit history and can have a tough time qualifying for many credit cards, especially those with rewards. But this Discover card is designed for students and approves those with fair credit ratings.
Avoiding Road Blocks
The best advice for students entering the vast world of credit is to formulate a budget, and stick to it. Learning to budget is the key to financial success, and although creating a budget is easy, many students have trouble following them.
For many college students, this may be their first experience with credit cards. First time credit holders should fully understand the risks just as much as the rewards.
When students get their first credit card, they need to be able to understand how credit works. Many teenagers rely on credit to purchases expensive clothes and electronics without thinking they have to pay their credit cards at some point. This is how they incur credit card debt. It’s important they understand that credit is not “free money;” it’s money they have to pay back each month in order to avoid interest rates and late fees.