The 30-and-under generation has already been dubbed 'generation debt.' Student loans and run away spending is hitting the MTV generation hard. Financial aid debt has tripled in the last 20 years. Undergraduates are leaving school with $20,000 in student loans, according to MSNBC.com. But your college years don't have to be the time that you ruin your financial record. Rather, it is a very good period to create a solid credit score.
Most people will need to borrow money at some point in their lives. Either for a mortgage, a car or the kid's college, borrowing is often the soundest financial decision. But without a credit history, it is extremely hard to get a loan. According to interest rate website Bankrate.com, it's very tough to get a credit card without a credit history and even harder to get a credit history without a credit card. Luckily, college students have a way in the door.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Banking Related Services
- Credit Management
- Financial Mgmt Services
- Financial Planning Services
- International Finance
- Investments and Securities
- Public Finance Mgmt
College credit cards are marketed directly at students. Credit companies want students as customers because they can be great long-term customers. According to card website CreditCards.com, many studies have found that students carry their college cards well into their 20's. Lenders offer the cards with a more relaxed standard than with other cards.
But college credit cards carry many restrictions.
Students are considered risky borrowers. They are not exactly known as the most frugal of people, and their financial acumen can be limited. So, according to CreditCards.com, college cards have low account limits, high interest rates and many require a co-signer.
As long as students pay their balance on time, high interest rates should not be a problem. And the low account limit: not exactly a big problem if your college income is limited. Also, Bankrate says if you pay your balance on time and are a good customer, within around one year you should be getting offers for some of the better cards.