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Student Credit Cards

Getting your first credit card is a significant milestone. If you want to play it safe and test the waters, a student credit card might be right for you.

What is a Student Credit Card?

As you’ve probably gathered, a student credit card is catered to individuals enrolled in a full-time college or university program. Student credit cards are used to establish your Canadian credit history.

That way, you can access all the treasures of adulthood. This includes a mortgage, a car lease, or an apartment lease.

Your credit card can be used for everyday purchases, much like an ordinary credit card. You can also benefit from great rewards programs, lucrative introductory offers, and low-to-no annual fees.

Pros and Cons of Student Credit Cards

Before getting a student credit card, consider the following benefits and drawbacks.

The Pros of Student Credit Cards

  • Establishes your credit history. As a student, you may not be able to sign up for a regular credit card. This is because credit card providers often require a particular credit score. A student credit card can help you establish a credit history. As long as you use your card responsibly, you will graduate with a positive credit score and access to several credit products.
  • Easy tracking of spending. If you’re working with a budget, a student credit card is a great way to track your expenditures.
  • Low requirements. Student credit cards are easy to qualify for. You won’t need a high credit score or income. As long as you’re a student, you can be approved.
  • Student benefits. You can access several perks catered to campus life with a student credit card in hand. This also includes entertainment and dining rewards. So you can treat yourself when you have a break and save some money in the process.

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The Cons of Student Credit Cards

  • High-interest charges. The interest rates on student credit cards can be as high as 19.99%. This means any balance you carry month to month will incur interest. If interest accumulates over time, it can become a significant burden and harm your credit history. Therefore, make sure that you pay your credit card bill on time.
  • Fewer valuable perks. Unlike other credit cards, student credit cards offer lesser rewards. This is often because they have no annual fee.
  • Low credit limit. A student credit card typically has a lower credit line than a regular one. Because these cards are made for those new to credit, you won't receive an extremely high credit limit. However, increasing your spending limit with responsible card use is possible.
  • It may create bad spending habits. Having a credit card can encourage overspending. You mustn't max out your credit card.

Choosing the Right Student Credit Card for You

When applying for a student credit card, it's essential to choose one that'll benefit you. Here are some tips to guide your decision.

  1. Always check the credit card’s interest rate. Nothing nearing 30% is worth it, even if the rewards are valuable.
  2. Determine if there’s an annual fee. Most student credit cards don’t have one, but it’s always good to check.
  3. Assess whether the rewards program is truly beneficial. If there are perks you won’t use, then opt for a card that has the right perks for you.

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March 17, 2022
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FAQs about
Student Credit Cards

What Is a Credit Score?

A credit score is a three-digit rating derived from your payment history and current debt. It ranges between 300 and 900, with a good credit score starting from 660. Your credit score is important because lenders will consider it when deciding to approve your mortgage or car lease.

Is It a Good Idea to Get a Student Credit Card?

Absolutely. The sooner you establish a Canadian credit history, the better. A student credit card can get you started. The credit score requirement won’t deter you once you’re ready to buy your first car or apply for a mortgage.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for a Student Credit Card?

Since it’s catered to students, you must be enrolled in a university or a full-time college. You’ll need to provide proof of enrollment. If you’re an international student, credit card providers will require proof of a student visa.

How Can I Get the Most Value Out of a Student Credit Card?

Use it only to build your credit history. Avoid spending beyond your means and pay your bills on time every month. It’s essential to charge purchases gradually to your card. Start with a small amount you can easily pay off, then build up as you improve your budgeting and money management skills.

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