College Student looking to get first Credit Card

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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Tasha89
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College Student looking to get first Credit Card

Postby Tasha89 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:36 pm

Hello Everyone!

I'm brand new to this website and these forums. I am a Junior in college looking to get my first credit card to build credit, and I'm not sure how to go about picking the best one.

A little info on my finances:
My current credit score (according to Mint.com) is 695.
I believe my credit score is based on my car loan, and my student loans. I took out the loan for my car in July of 2013, and started taking out student loans in September of 2014.
My estimated graduation date for my undergrad is in 2017, but I will be attending grad school after that, so I'll have substantial student debt by the time I'm done. However, my degree has very good job prospects, and the median earnings for my career are around 80K (the low end is around 55K, and the high end is 113K).

According to mint; the age of my credit is poor because both of my loans are under 2 years old. My total accounts is also 'poor' because I only have two accounts, and it suggests I get a different type of credit (aka a credit card).
My car loan is for six years and I've made all of my payments on time. I have the money to pay it off right now, though I'm not sure if that would hurt my credit.
It says that I have no credit inquiries and no derogatory marks.
Right now the only assets I have are what's in my back accounts ($8,224) and I use a credit union.

I am also interested in getting a credit card because I will be studying abroad in Europe this fall, and I was told it would be beneficial/easier to use a credit card instead of my atm/debit card.

Any advice/recommendations would be greatly appreciated, and I would be happy to provide any additional info.
Discover IT for Students: $2,000


Vermonster
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Re: College Student looking to get first Credit Card

Postby Vermonster » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:29 am

I had a pretty big response but lost it :mad:

I think you will qualify for student versions of cards. They are sort of aimed at people with thin, clean, files, and limited income. I would not bother mentioning grad school or what your potential income is going to be. Creditors want to know about the now.

You should look to Discover, Citi, BoA, or Cap One for student cards. Or you could see about getting a card through your CU or the bank you have your car loan with.

As for Europe. Sorry to say that all the cards you are immediately ready to get will have a foreign transaction fee. A semester abroad will rack up those fees quickly. Maybe someone else can offer more insight into this.

Also I wouldn't use Mint as the only resource for your credit report. Check a few sites like Credit Karma, or get your free reports from each bureau and check them for issues.
Chase Freedom $9k~~Chase Sapphire Preferred $6.5k~~Amex Blue Cash Preferred $12.4k~~Citi Double Cash $4.7k

darkguy2
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Re: College Student looking to get first Credit Card

Postby darkguy2 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:33 am

Discover IT for Students does not have any fees when you use it abroad. I would go for that one. It was my first credit card two years ago and you can see how well I am doing now with my credit in my signature. The only problem I would see with the Discover IT is acceptance in Europe. I have not been so I can not really say. Make sure you get the IT version and not the Chrome. While the Chrome is nice the IT is much better with the 5% categories.

If you want I can give you a referral link that will give you $50 bonus for signing up (full disclosure: I also get $50). I do not see any sign-up bonus for the student card right now so it would give you a extra $50, but you can get it from anyone with a Discover card so if you have a friend or family that has one I would get it through them to help them out.
Discover IT - $5,700
Chase Freedom - $5,700
Costco Citi - $13,000
Sallie Mae - $4,000
Chase Sapphire Preferred - $6,000
Chase Sapphire Reserve - $19,500
Citi Double Cash - $6,500
Amex BCE - $13,000

FICOs: Discover (777), SallieMae (764), Amex (767), Citi (772)
FAKOs: CK- TU (760), EQ (760)

darkguy2
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Location: United States

Re: College Student looking to get first Credit Card

Postby darkguy2 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:35 am

It did not attach my signature with the new settings. Should be on this one.
Discover IT - $5,700
Chase Freedom - $5,700
Costco Citi - $13,000
Sallie Mae - $4,000
Chase Sapphire Preferred - $6,000
Chase Sapphire Reserve - $19,500
Citi Double Cash - $6,500
Amex BCE - $13,000

FICOs: Discover (777), SallieMae (764), Amex (767), Citi (772)
FAKOs: CK- TU (760), EQ (760)

Tasha89
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Location: Michigan

Re: College Student looking to get first Credit Card

Postby Tasha89 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:07 pm

Thanks for the responses!

I checked my credit report in September using Annual Credit Report.com (I'm not entirely sure if that was the name, but it was something like that). So far everything looks good, and there wasn't anything odd on there. That site did not tell me what my actual scores were though, I think you had to pay for that.

I will do research on the Discover IT card to learn more about it. I don't think I know anyone who has a discover card, so if you want to give me your referral link darkguy2, I'll use it.

I'll also search around the forums to see what people are saying about the Discover IT card (so far I see it being recommended often), and I will also look to see if there are any other cards that are travel friendly. :)

On another note: Is there a sticky on this forum that give information on what to known/look for, or how to decide if the card you're looking at is right for you? I found the post that lists a lot of the shorthand jargon on here, but a post on how to actually assess a card would be nice. If there is no such post, do you guys have any websites you'd recommend?

My family isn't the most savvy or responsible when it comes to credit. My mother has filed bankruptcy three times. My father has good credit (pays all the cards on time), but paying his credit card bills takes a huge chunk of his income, so I don't want to follow in their foot steps.
Discover IT for Students: $2,000

darkguy2
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Re: College Student looking to get first Credit Card

Postby darkguy2 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:38 pm

The problem with any lists you look at is that it will assume you have a decent history and credit score. You can google top student cards, but the Discover IT is always one of the top ones and it gives the added benefit of no foreign transaction fees. So far all of the other student cards I have seen have the fee. Plus the Discover IT is a prime card, which means it is one of the better cards you can get. Normally the regular Discover IT requires very good credit to be approved. The student version of the card is exactly the same and the normal one. You only get 6 months of 0% APR instead of the normal 15 months.

You can also go onto Credit Karma and look at your credit reports and FAKOs. They are not your true FICO scores, but they are a good indicator of what they are.
Discover IT - $5,700
Chase Freedom - $5,700
Costco Citi - $13,000
Sallie Mae - $4,000
Chase Sapphire Preferred - $6,000
Chase Sapphire Reserve - $19,500
Citi Double Cash - $6,500
Amex BCE - $13,000

FICOs: Discover (777), SallieMae (764), Amex (767), Citi (772)
FAKOs: CK- TU (760), EQ (760)

Tasha89
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Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:56 pm
Location: Michigan

Re: College Student looking to get first Credit Card

Postby Tasha89 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:07 pm

darkguy2 wrote:The problem with any lists you look at is that it will assume you have a decent history and credit score. You can google top student cards, but the Discover IT is always one of the top ones and it gives the added benefit of no foreign transaction fees. So far all of the other student cards I have seen have the fee. Plus the Discover IT is a prime card, which means it is one of the better cards you can get. Normally the regular Discover IT requires very good credit to be approved. The student version of the card is exactly the same and the normal one. You only get 6 months of 0% APR instead of the normal 15 months.

You can also go onto Credit Karma and look at your credit reports and FAKOs. They are not your true FICO scores, but they are a good indicator of what they are.


I'll look at credit karma so I know where I'm at.

You said to get the Discover IT, and not the chrome version, but when I look on discover's website the only student card they are offering is Discover IT Chrome for students. Is that the one I should get, or should not get. If it's the one I should not get, then I don't see any other options for student cards.

Edit: ok, I found the other IT card for students. It's not actually advertised like the chrome one is; I needed to scroll down the page chrome card to find the regular IT card. Sneaky.

Edit #2: So I'm looking at the application and i'm not sure what to put as my annual income, and my housing/rent, as both change every year. I made more in 2014 than I did in 2013, but I'll probably make less in 2015 than I did in 2014. This year is the first time I've lived out of my parents home, so I did pay rent to a roommate, but I'll be moving back home this summer (then all be abroad from September to mid-December). I'm not sure what to tell them.
Discover IT for Students: $2,000

Vermonster
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Re: College Student looking to get first Credit Card

Postby Vermonster » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:03 pm

Income is what you have to repay debts. Most people stick to what was reported on their income tax returns. For a student card, there is no minimum. I have seen friends get approved with putting $0 as an income.

Rent is whatever you pay your roommate.

Again Discover only cares about right this instant. So 2014 vs 2015 is irrelevant. You want to tell them about the higher amount, but don't lie about it. I always take my last 2 paychecks add them and multiply by 12. That gets a pretty close estimate to my gross income, at least as close as they would get if the ever asked for proof of income.
Chase Freedom $9k~~Chase Sapphire Preferred $6.5k~~Amex Blue Cash Preferred $12.4k~~Citi Double Cash $4.7k

JamesMS
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Location: Fort Worth, TX

Re: College Student looking to get first Credit Card

Postby JamesMS » Thu Apr 23, 2015 6:48 pm

Tasha89 wrote:Hello Everyone!

I'm brand new to this website and these forums. I am a Junior in college looking to get my first credit card to build credit, and I'm not sure how to go about picking the best one.

A little info on my finances:
My current credit score (according to Mint.com) is 695.
I believe my credit score is based on my car loan, and my student loans. I took out the loan for my car in July of 2013, and started taking out student loans in September of 2014.
My estimated graduation date for my undergrad is in 2017, but I will be attending grad school after that, so I'll have substantial student debt by the time I'm done. However, my degree has very good job prospects, and the median earnings for my career are around 80K (the low end is around 55K, and the high end is 113K).

According to mint; the age of my credit is poor because both of my loans are under 2 years old. My total accounts is also 'poor' because I only have two accounts, and it suggests I get a different type of credit (aka a credit card).
My car loan is for six years and I've made all of my payments on time. I have the money to pay it off right now, though I'm not sure if that would hurt my credit.
It says that I have no credit inquiries and no derogatory marks.
Right now the only assets I have are what's in my back accounts ($8,224) and I use a credit union.

I am also interested in getting a credit card because I will be studying abroad in Europe this fall, and I was told it would be beneficial/easier to use a credit card instead of my atm/debit card.

Any advice/recommendations would be greatly appreciated, and I would be happy to provide any additional info.


As previous members stated, a student version would probably work very well for you. There are plenty to choose from so depending on your needs, you should be able to find one.
Main Cards:
Amex BCE
Amex Everyday
Bank of America Cash Rewards
Chase Freedom
Capital One Quicksilver
Citi Thank You Preferred

Spark Cash Back (Business), Amex Plum (Business)

darkguy2
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Re: College Student looking to get first Credit Card

Postby darkguy2 » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:01 pm

If you use the link I sent you it should take you to the student IT application. For income you can put what you make right now and housing is what you currently pay for rent, either to your roommate or landlord.
Discover IT - $5,700
Chase Freedom - $5,700
Costco Citi - $13,000
Sallie Mae - $4,000
Chase Sapphire Preferred - $6,000
Chase Sapphire Reserve - $19,500
Citi Double Cash - $6,500
Amex BCE - $13,000

FICOs: Discover (777), SallieMae (764), Amex (767), Citi (772)
FAKOs: CK- TU (760), EQ (760)



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