Designed specifically with college and university students in mind, student credit cards
are not only a convenient way to pay for everyday purchases but a fantastic tool to help develop a credit history.
Credit card companies realize that students enrolled in colleges and universities across Canada have limited financial resources and many have little or no previous credit history
. Student credit cards are a suitable means to build a positive credit history that will carry over beyond graduation, and perhaps facilitate future borrowing for household mortgages and/or car loans.
One of the first lessons, financial experts (or concerned parents) suggest for those selecting a student credit card is learning to pay off the card balance each month or, at the very least, pay significantly more than the credit card issuer's minimum payment. This could help establish a better credit rating
and may eventually result in an increase in credit limit, if that's desired.
Since there are several student credit cards offered with various features and costs, candidates will have to do their research, something students should be all to familiar with.
Before applying for a student credit card it is important to understand:
- What is the interest rate on the card?
- What, if any, is the annual fee attached?
- What are the benefits of the card?
Additionally, students should examine other fees that may be associated with the card including late payment fees, over limit fees, foreign exchange fees on overseas purchases, and also what the grace period is, as this may vary from card to card.
It is interesting to note that the Canadian University Survey Consortium's 2012 study of 15,000 graduating students, shows that 6 in 10 students are working, the vast majority pay off their credit card bills each month and only one-third have a debt load that exceeds $20,000.