OPINION: Take the leap and get a student credit card

Caitlyn Dieckmann 

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     When I was a freshman, I hadn’t the slightest notion of how the heck to get a credit card. What I remember, however, was being told that it was too scary and that I should stay away from it. But why? 

     Looking back, all my fears were based on several people telling me that I was too young and irresponsible. Thus, I would be a horrible candidate for a credit card. Because I was young, that meant I would overspend past my credit limit. And because I was perceived as irresponsible, that meant I would ruin my credit score before I had a chance to correct it.  

     So yeah. I was scared into not wanting a credit card. I mean, come on. I would ruin my credit score! How would I ever buy a house in the future? Buy a car? Credit is everything! 

     It wasn’t until a year ago when I finally took some time to think this over. How exactly do you build credit? Well, I asked the same people who constantly told me I was too young and irresponsible to have a credit card… They told me I had to have credit lines open, and to not worry about it.  

     Credit lines, huh? So, either take out more student loans in my name, or get one of those infamous credit cards. I started worrying about it. 

     Basically, I finally said screw it to those people calling me young and irresponsible and did my own research. People constantly told me I was too young … for everything. And I always proved them wrong. So why would I ever listen when someone assumed I would be irresponsible with a credit card? And I wanted to build my credit, so it was only a matter of time.  

     One small problem: I didn’t have parents who were willing to cosign on a credit card with me, because they were even more scared that I would mess up by overspending my limit, failing to pay my bill, etc.  

     Nerdwallet is not a bad place to start by the way, if you want to learn more about getting your first credit card as a college student. Naturally, my internet resources were various, and TikTok may have also convinced me it was time to pursue a credit card.  

     But again, without parents to cosign, students typically don’t have an outstanding credit score to begin with; they won’t get approved for top-notch credit cards.  

     What can you do then? Well after looking at Nerdwallet, I found that several banks offer student credit cards, with no previous credit score required to be approved. Popular options like Discover and Capital One are among them.  

     After comparing types of credit cards, limits, preapproval information, cashback options and much more, I only had to choose. Discover was ultimately the best option for me, and they have a couple of desirable student credit card options available.  

     As a student, you don’t need to be afraid to get a credit card. If you think you can handle the responsibility of paying your bill in time and not going over your set limit, then it is time to consider getting a student credit card. It’s far easier than you would think. Plus, it has made my life so much easier in emergencies. 

     If you are ready to take that leap, Nerdwallet compares different student credit card options. Peruse what you would like and remember not to let someone who called you too young and too irresponsible control your financial decisions. 

Getting a credit card (and consistently making payments on it) is one way of building credit. Photo courtesy of unsplash.com.