We understand that the market is still shaky and most people are still having a hard time paying minimum payments on their credit cards. Late charges are piling up and some people are losing their house over credit card payments, sad indeed. However, credit cards most often become a problem rather than a solution not because they are a problem in itself, it is because most people fail to recognize the proper way to manage it. Students are no different.
It’s understandable that students are young and ready for a challenge and a good time. Of course, they are entitled to it but not at the cost of ruining their financial future. And although student credit cards are seen as a major hurdle towards their financial success in future, we disagree. Credit cards are essential for students, both as a way to pave their path to financial success and help them budget, organize and learn the value of money early on.
So why should students own credit cards? Here are 5 reasons that almost make it a must to have one.
1. Credit cards are here to stay and so is credit history
Not sure why many people don’t realize the fact that credit history has become an integral part when it comes to choosing a job applicant. Of course, education, skills, etc. matters but so does credit history. A college student should at least have one credit card on their name to start out with.
When I was in college I had a friend who at the time was 28 years old. He never had a single credit card. Good for him right? Wrong! He had quite a few problems when applying for jobs due to his credit history, which wasn’t even established. And one question he kept getting asked when he tried to apply for credit cards was, “How come you are 28 and don’t have a credit history?” If you are in college and have yet to get one, go ahead and apply for one. Make sure to do the research.
2. Budgeting is better learned by oneself than any college courses
Take as many classes as you want, some things are better learned by doing it on your own. The budgeting courses that teach how to manage company budget or personal finance can only go so long. Until you prepare yourself to manage your personal finances, you will never learn. Credit cards allow students to see a different aspect of managing money. Its a good way to analyze how overspending can hurt and hopefully teaches them to manage and budget properly.
3. They serve as an emergency fund
Not sure about you folks, but when I was in college I was pretty tight when it comes to cash. I dreaded asking money from home, of course my parents weren’t the rich kind either. My only choice was credit cards. And man did they help me out. I have a few thousand racked up on my credit cards but because of these credit cards I have been able to finish college. I have a job that pays pretty well and most of the time I try to pay what I spend each month. Without these plastics that most hate so much, there probably would have been times when I would have gone to bed hungry. Credit cards have been my true friends during tough times. Save it up for emergency.
4. Small mistakes lead to smaller consequences (usually)
When first applying credit cards, students usually get cards with smaller credit lines. I have never heard of a first time credit card applicant getting a credit line of 20,000 dollars. If you get a credit card, for say $300, chances are you will be able to correct your mistakes. Rather than letting students dive into the real world and create bigger financial holes for themselves when it comes to credit cards, it’s better to let them make smaller mistakes and realize. The saying “Failure is the key to success” is there for a reason.
5. Welcome to adulthood
When a child reaches eighteen we automatically think they need to get on their own feet and move out. They are seen as adult who is free to make their own decisions. Well, if they are undecided about getting a credit card, someone should give them the boost to make that decision and welcome them to adulthood.
There is no denying that credit cards can either make or break your financial stability. But if mistakes are going to be made, it’s better made early on so you have enough time to fix them rather than later when you should actually be basking in the sun, enjoying a good retirement.
Your turn to share your thoughts, opinion and experience on student credit cards.