If you are 18, one of the things you may decide to do is apply for a credit card. There are a number of things to be aware of when looking for your first card, but the best first credit card to sign up for is one with low interest rates, few or no fees, and a low credit limit.
If you are looking for your first credit card, use our online credit card finder!
It may seem fun and you may feel more like a grown up by getting a credit card but along with it comes adult responsibility. The credit card you get should be one that makes it easier for you to be financially responsible, as getting into credit card debt is the last thing you want to do.
Is a student credit card a good first credit card?
If you are in college, you may notice that you receive a lot of applications for credit cards. In fact, most of them probably say that you are pre-approved for the cards, which makes you feel like you should get all of them.
Although student credit cards will usually approve you, you need to be careful and scrutinize the offers closely. Many of them have annual fees and high interest rates, which you do not want. You also don’t want to get more than one credit card and you shouldn’t apply for multiple cards, as this can negatively affect your credit score. The best idea is to research credit cards ahead of time and find one with the terms that you want and then apply for that specific card.
What specific things should you look for in a starter credit card?
The last thing you want to do is get into debt from credit card use. One way to avoid paying extra, useless money to the credit card company is to choose a card that does not have fees. Number one, the card should not have an annual fee, as this is just money that you are wasting every year.
Often credit cards will charge a fee if you make a late payment, if you transfer funds from another card, go over your credit limit, or if you get a cash advance. Look for a card that does not charge for these, even if you don’t plan to be in those situations.
Another thing to be aware of is the interest rate on the card. You want to find a card with the lowest APR possible. Beware of credit cards that offer an introductory offer of 0% APR. Although in theory, this is a nice bonus, many individuals will misuse this low interest rate, purchase many items with the card, and then carry a balance from month to month because they aren’t being charged interest on them.
The problem arises after the introductory period is over. For some cards, this may be three, six, or twelve months, and after this period, the interest rate increases and is usually quite high. If you have a balance on your card at this time, you may find it difficult to pay it off and you will get into more debt month after month.
As a student, you do not need a credit card with a high spending limit. In fact, that is usually a dangerous idea. You want to look for a credit card with a low to moderate spending limit, as then you won’t be tempted to buy things just because your limit allows it.
Where should I look for a credit card?
There are a number of ways to look for a first credit card. If you are already a member of a bank or credit union, speak with a representative and see if there is a credit card offered with the terms that you want. Since the bank already knows your financial tendencies and has a relationship with you, you are more likely to receive approval.
Another way to find a credit card is to go online and do a credit card search, as you can on this site. This way you can compare a number of credit cards at once and make a decision. If you would like to compare consumer ratings of credit cards, you can go to JD Power and Associates to view their yearly list,
- When should I pay off credit card debt?
- Amegy Bank of Texas Visa Student Visa Classic Credit Card
- How much credit is too much credit?
- Are credit cards for teens a good idea?
- Which credit card should I sign up for?
- How can I pay off credit card debt fast?
- Sikorsky Financial Credit Union Visa Student Credit Card