Best credit card tips for college students?

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ryan g
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Best credit card tips for college students?

Postby ryan g » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:42 am

I am 18 and will be starting college this fall and would love to hear some credit card tips from people who have already been through college, dealt with credit cards and had mistakes, and those who didn't have mistakes if there are any. I believe it is important to have a card for credit building and learning the ropes but with all the bad stories I want to make sure I won't be getting in over my head.

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Postby ashleyAMX » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:36 am

Don't mess up early.
Take it very seriously.
Don't apply for anything you know you won't get (this creates unneccesary inquiries).
Know your credit score before you look for a card
.Do a lot of research and read all the fine print before you apply.
Pay it off in full in 30 days. (before the close day of the statement because that is what reports on your credit report for the month)
Never use more than 30% of your credit limits (I don't use more than 20)
Be prepared to have the card for life you never want to cancel an account.

That is all I have, I think these are good practices. I'm in college as well. I don't have any "student" cards because I'm not going to be a student for life. For my first card, I didn't worry about the interest rate on my card because I knew I wouldnt pay interest if I paid it off in 25-30 days, the higher the interest rate then easier the approval. But, you have to know your scores so you know what kind of credit you have or if any. lol. ( is the only website authorized by the FTC to give the one free report a year.

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Postby CCG » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:16 am

Thanks for the great tips AshleyAMX!



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Postby ashleyAMX » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:16 pm

CreditCardGuru wrote:Thanks for the great tips AshleyAMX!



aw thanks :) !

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Postby Squid7085 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:47 pm

I didn't seem to have an issue getting a card when I was 18 back in 07, but the banks have tightened their belts a bit, so you may need to try a bit harder. My best advice is to get a card right at 18, and maybe even a store card. That is what I did. I have a BofA card and a Store Card, thanks to those two cards, now that I am 21, getting a car loan and some more loans, my average age hasn't suffered too much. Make sure you pay every month and don't treat the credit limit as "Cash on Hand" always remember it is borrowing money. Starting your credit early can either be a great thing in your future if you do it right, or it can hurt you in the future if you do it badly. It's hard to recover if the little credit you do have is bad. Most young people with credit cards tend to make large mistakes, if you are part of the few that doesn't have any negative things on their report, that will serve you very kindly in the future.

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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:01 pm

Squid7085 wrote:My best advice is to get a card right at 18, and maybe even a store card.

Starting your credit early can either be a great thing in your future if you do it right, or it can hurt you in the future if you do it badly.

It seems as if getting and establishing credit in college is a heck of a lot easier than trying to do it later on. There was a post not too long ago by a guy in in mid-twenties that for the life of him could not get approved for a credit card, because he had no credit history.
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

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New Member Tips For a College Student

Postby DEAFIL » Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:51 pm


My name is DEAFIL and I am a new member. I'm applying for a Citi Forward credit card with average income of a college student. I have no previous credit history. Should I be qualified for a card? I have not heard from citi yet.

So far I have heard some important tips from this forum like:

1. paying full on time every per month and no carry on.
2. buy only up to 1/3 of limit on card, 9%=best,10%=good, 30%=average, and %30+ is awful!

I'm asking everyone to help me out with good tips for a starter like me. I want good credit and I don't want to f*** up like the most average americans. No offense, I'm an american. Happy 4th of July!



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A few more thoughts

Postby Iroquois » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:13 am

I offer some similar but also a few different thoughts.
First , as as previously said, take it seriously.
Second is always consider the longer term ramifications on everything you do.
A line of credit is exactly that. It is OK to use it for large purchases but make sure that you can pay the money back. It is also an OK thing to demonstrate that you can borrow and that you can be trusted to repay.
Make good decisions in what you use credit for. Assume that you will be judged by what you are buying and where you are buying it. You will be today and even more so tomorrow.
Avoid delinquency on any debt. Take all credit warnings from any source seriously.
Build credit over time but do so wisely. Add cards as your experience and resources permit.
Respect your own inexperience and give yourself time to learn and time to build experience.
Check your credit to make sure it is the way it is supposed to be and moving the way you want it to.
There are competitors for your credit. Allow them to compete and seek the best deals for yourself as they arise.
Understand that financial institutions change with time, as do business conditions. Credit issuers make mistakes too from time to time. Don't be dependent on any one. Work through any issues that might arise persistantly.
The way that you begin will remain with you for a very long time; good or bad.

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A College Student Seeking Credit Card Advice

Postby damerae » Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:17 am


I'm 24 years old, in college and about to get married later this year. I've always purchased items with cash and debit, but now that I am getting married and going to share and be the holder of future accounts, I will need credit.

I was hoping to receive some advice and tips on purchasing and trying to find a good credit card. This will be my first credit card. It'd be nice to find a credit card with no additional fees but that would provide some benefits (points or something along those lines).

Please let me know where I should begin, because I am completely lost. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

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Postby ooxs » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:07 am

Congratulation in advance and i commend you for a smart choice. We are all different and i always recommend what seem to work best for folks and based on your posting, that will be cash. The less you owe, the more you have and the more you have, the better the marriage.

You have no credit and that can be a problem and limit you to few options. You can try American Express Zync or Discover Card

Most will recommend a secure card or Capital One but I think you should try Discover. You get no annual fee and 5% cash back. This is a hit or miss approval but it is worth the hard pull or try.
Best of luck

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