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How To Find The Best College Credit Cards
College freshmen are bombarded with offers for college credit cards. They get all sorts of junk mail and e-mails saying enticing things like, "pre-approved for college credit cards." Few students can resist these college credit cards marketing gimmicks.
Not that it's bad for students to have and use college credit cards. Parents just have to be aware that this college credit cards craze will happen at the start of each year. Rather than fighting a battle they really can't win, mom and dad should be sitting down with their college freshman son or daughter and explaining the ins and outs of college credit cards - the jargon, the responsibilities, the ramifications to their credit if they go overboard on college credit cards purchases they fail to pay on time.
The best student choices in college credit cards are those that start the college freshman out with a modest spending limit. Parents are probably going to be the ones paying the balance, anyway, for college freshmen at least, who don't typically have jobs while they're in their first college year.
While it's almost a given that you would want to choose a college credit card with a low APR (annual percentage rate) this isn't necessarily a bargain, as opposed to those whose APR is a little higher. There are other factors. If, for example, the introductory offer is the low APR and it only lasts for six months or one year, just what is the APR after that? Much higher? If that's the case, you might be better off looking at college credit cards whose APR is a little higher the first year but at least consistent.
Just about all college credit cards are going to entice the student with gimmicks such as cash back or points towards rewards. What this is all about is keeping the student using the credit card for more and more purchases. College credit cards can be managed online, and, of course, you're not going to find many students who don't have consistent and almost continual Internet access. The days of a student, or other cardholder, not knowing that their account is in trouble (their balance too high) until the monthly statement arrives in the mail is a thing of the past.
The other great advantage of this, too, is that parents can sit at home, across the street or across the country, and get online to see just what their college student child is doing with her or his college credit cards. This keeps the college student out of trouble and the parent out of debt - well, it helps anyway.
College credit cards almost always have a fraud and theft prevention feature, which is terrific. Dorms, unfortunately, are often too close and accessible for comfort when it comes to protecting student valuables. Seldom is there anything a whole lot more valuable to the student - and the parent - than the child's college credit cards. This preventative feature is imperative. Don't even consider college credit cards that don't offer it!
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