Should You Build Credit in College?

I like to go after the big savings. I try to get those huge wins that go further than saving money on a cup of coffee. I believe in building your credit so that you can save huge money in the future.

I drink a cup of coffee probably every single day. I don’t mind paying a few bucks for it. I enjoy going out with friends. Sure, I could save the money, but I’m not all about restriction. I want you to have a damn amazing life. I just want you to try to save money where it matters.

If you can build your credit up at an early age, you’ll be able to save tons of money in the future when you apply for a home mortgage or a car loan. We’re talking about thousands of dollars here – not just a $3 drink.

Should you use credit cards to build your credit?

Yes. There are two conditions that need to be met first though. Credit for college students isn’t something to joke about. If you’re a college student you have to meet the criteria for applying for a credit card or else you’ll get into massive amounts of debt or you just won’t be issued the credit card.

  1. You must have a job. Do you have any money coming in? If not, how do you plan on getting accepted for a credit card or paying off your balance if you somehow get accepted? Without a job, a student credit card is a horrible idea. With a job, you at least have the income to pay your balance off if you do splurge.
  2. You need restraint. Do you have any self-control? Most of us don’t in college. I’m not sure how I survived my student years. If you know that you can’t restrain yourself and that you’ll use your credit card to buy everyone drinks, then maybe you should hold off for now. I don’t want that credit card to ruin you financially.

Do you meet the criteria to apply for credit for college students?

Does building your credit always work in college?

From my experience, credit cards for college students are a very polarizing idea. Using credit cards to build your credit can work because it’s the easiest and fastest access to credit at early age. You need to prove that you’re credit worthy. Credit cards allow you to do this.

Of course there’s the dark side though. We all know someone that got a credit card, maxed it out, and then screwed up their credit for the next decade. This doesn’t have to be you. Actually, this shouldn’t be you! I want to see you use your credit card in college to build credit and prove that you’re worthy of being trusted with money.

“Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got.” — Art Buchwald

Have you thought about using credit cards to build your credit? Any thoughts? Are you totally opposed credit for college students?

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Comments

  1. Rosy says

    I’ve been wondering about other ways to improve/build credit. I got a student credit card back in 2008 or 2009, right before cosigners were needed for student cards. I maxed out my $1000 limit and it took me forever to pay off. Now that I have a decent job and would be more responsible with a card, I’m afraid of being rejected due to poor credit. Is there any other advice you’d be able to share?

  2. says

    I was all about building credit as soon as I could. I applied for my first card at 18 and made sure to use it for at least a couple hundred a month for my regular expenses. I just paid it off as soon as the statement was ready. I haven’t paid any cc interest to this day (12 years) and still love my cash back credit cards, lol.

    • says

      That’s impressive. I’m in the same boat. I got my first credit card ASAP. It was my only access to credit at 18. I started with $500 and thankfully I always paid off my balance, even with all of those random nights out.

  3. says

    I got my first credit card about 3 weeks after I graduated high school. Who’s Who Among American High School Students from MBNA. It was also a $500 limit. Of course, my first week on campus, I then got a Discover card with a $1000 limit and I haven’t been at zero balance since.

  4. Brett @ wstreetstocks says

    Many college students forget that having a part time job while in college is very important. It is important to start saving money while you are still young.

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