Student Credit Cards – Build a Credit History

College is one of the best times to get a credit card, and one of the worst. The new-found freedom and miscellaneous expenses of college can add up and tank your financial future.

But college is also one of the easiest times to get a student credit card and build a credit history. You have four years to build a credit score before you need to use it in your post-college life. And in the meantime, if you need to rent an apartment or buy a car, you’ll have a history to work with.

Here are some student credit cards to check out as well as some tips for using them wisely to build a great credit history and credit score while still a college student:

Discover® Student Card – Tropical Beach

Tip #1: Always pay your credit card bill on time. Late payments ding your credit score. Student credit cards are no different from regular credit cards in requiring timely payments.

Discover® Student Card – Clear

Tip #2: Pay the full balance every time. Don’t carry a balance and your credit card is free. Carry a balance and everything you buy costs more than full price. Paying off the balance every month is the best way to avoid spending beyond your means.

Discover® Student Card

Tip #3: Reserve your student credit card for regular bills. Try a proven strategy to prevent overspending—use the card only for paying regular bills like for your cell phone. You get regular use but don’t overspend.

Discover® More(SM) Card – Monogram

Tip #4: For building a healthy credit score, pay the credit card bill when it arrives, not before. If you pay off your card immediately after making a purchase, the credit bureaus may not know you used it. Allow the billing cycle to complete, but pay the bill as soon as it arrives (or schedule a payment online).

Current by Discover – Teen Prepaid Debit Card

Tip #5: Don’t use more than 50% of your available credit. Credit scores take into account the % of your credit that you use. If it gets too high, they worry that you’re taking on more debt than you can handle.

This card is a special pre-paid debit card which allows teens to practice good spending habits before they’re 18. Built-in parental controls and prepaid spending limits make this card safer for use:

Start your credit history right, and safely, with a prepaid or student credit card.

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