Are Credit Cards a Good Idea for College Students?

When students get ready to go to college, they are excited to enter a whole new world of possibilities and learning.  College is an experience like no other in a young person’s life, when they can grow, meet new people, and experience new places and events that they have never had the opportunity to partake in before.  But despite the added independence that comes with going away to college and living on their own, are college students ready for credit cards as well?  Here are some reasons why college students should consider getting themselves a line of credit, as well as some reasons why they may be better off waiting a few years until they start using credit cards for expenses.

Reasons a College Student Should Get a Credit Card

It is important to establish a line of credit in the event of an emergency, especially if a college student is attending school far away from home.  Instead of worrying about having a lot of cash on hand at all times, and potentially running out, he can instead keep a credit card handy to take care of more expensive items that his cash cannot cover.  This will also keep him from inadvertently depleting his bank account with too many trips to the bank for more cash every time he needs it.  As long as he is a responsible spender, having a credit card should not be an issue.

If a college student is not only a responsible spender, but also a responsible banker and someone who understands the necessity to pay off bills on time whenever they arrive, before too much interest is tacked onto the balance, he will do well with a credit card.  The added sense of responsibility will make him feel even more grown and accomplished, and he will be setting himself up for success later in life.

Establishing a credit rating can also be helpful to a young adult who, upon graduating from college, may be ready for a large purchase, such as a new car or even a new place to live on his own.  If he wants to take out loans once he is done with school but does not have a good credit score, banks may not be so willing to lend him the money because they have no record of his abilities to handle money and debt.

Reasons a College Student Should Avoid Getting a Credit Card

Irresponsible college students who do not yet have a solid understanding of banking, credit, and potential debt, should not get a credit card.  Impulsive buyers and spenders also should not have a credit card handy, as it will only tempt them to spend even when it is not necessary to do so.  They will only end up acquiring debt before they even have a chance at starting out an independent adult life.

Having no credit rating is better than having a bad credit rating, so it is better for some college students to wait until they are a little more experienced and educated on how credit cards can impact their financial futures.

When it comes to spending at college, from credit cards to , students must remember to be responsible with their money in order to avoid debt and poor credit ratings.