It can be a difficult time being a student, moving away from home, living in a new city, making new friends and for some worrying about money for the first time in their life!
Generally, ‘most’ students are either late teens or early 20s, this can however range up to early 30s too. Typically, this age group will have little history of borrowing from a bank or credit card provider, this obviously makes obtaining credit much more challenging.
Having a student loan for a course doesn’t count either, so being the owner of little credit history means your credit score will be low. Thus, you either won’t be accepted for a credit card or you will only be offered one with a high rate of interest.
In most cases the higher rate of interest simply outweighs the convenience for the card in the first place, the best piece of advice is to find a dedicated student credit card provider. This can sometimes be easier said than done.
Need Money? Getting and Understanding Student Credit Cards
Typically, a student credit card will offer a low credit limit, this is so customers are able to manage their credit facility more easily and not get too much debt while studying. In most cases you’ll find card limits are set to a maximum of £1,500, however you may be offered a lower amount. It’s not uncommon for some cards to have limits of £500.
If you’re accepted for a student credit card, you need to be responsible with your spending, it’s always a good idea to read all of the documentation and any provider terms and conditions before accepting any agreement. Remember there’s penalty charges for late or missed payments, you can also be charged for exceeding credit limits and of course there’s usually interest added to your balance each month.
In most cases it’s a good idea to pay over the minimum payment amount each month, this will reduce your debt more quickly and give you a more favourable credit rating in the long run.
Pros and Cons of Student Credit
- A student credit card can help to build your credit score
- Low credit limit can avoid people getting into too much debt too young
- Some providers may offer discounts on purchases you make
- Not a good idea for ‘long term’ borrowing
- High APR rates
- Minimum monthly payments can sometimes be high
What to Do Next?
If you’ve made your mind up about applying for a credit card while at University or College, then there’s a few possible options to think about.
Firstly, take a look at some of the card providers on this website, click on the link below to find out further information which may suit your needs and budget. We’ve teamed up with some of the UK’s leading providers, find great deals and offers today!
It could also be a good idea to visit your Student union / representative. Its not ‘uncommon’ for some providers to ‘team up’ with universities to help students who need a credit facility. They can sometimes offer more favourable rates and are in a better position to understand unique needs more easily than a high street lender.