Originally Posted On: https://www.iquanti.com/

 

As a college student, you may not have a credit history or credit score, two things that lenders look at before approving you for a credit card. Fortunately, the best credit cards for college students give you other ways to qualify. If you use your new credit card responsibly, you’ll establish a credit history and be on your way to a good credit score.

 

Apply for a student card

Many credit card issuers offer cards for students with limited or no credit history. Student cards are available to college students who are at least 18 years old, and some will require proof that you’re enrolled in school. You may be asked for your school’s name and your graduation date, or the issuer may confirm your enrollment through the National Student Clearinghouse’s verification service.

The income requirements on a student card are usually lower than the requirements for a regular card, and the credit limit is lower also.  Income that counts includes money that you earn at a job, unemployment benefits, investment income, liquid assets such as a bank account, and scholarship or grant money that you receive in regular increments. If you’re over 21, you can also include income from another source that you have regular access to, such as a spouse or partner’s income.

 

Get a secured card

With a secured credit card, you provide a refundable deposit that’s the same amount as your credit limit. This eliminates risk for the credit card issuer; if you don’t pay your bills, the card issuer will use your deposit to cover the balance. Once you have a record of regularly paying the bills, you may have the option to convert the account to a regular credit card and get your deposit back.

 

Apply for a store credit card

Store credit cards are more likely than general cards to accept applicants with little to no credit history. The drawback is that a store card can only be used at the retailer that issued it, and interest rates tend to be higher than for general cards. Store cards are a good way for college students to build up credit history and credit score if the balance is paid in full each month.

 

Become an authorized user

As an authorized user on someone else’s account, you have your own card, but the primary cardholder will get the bill. Since it’s not your account, the issuer doesn’t require you to have an income, credit score or credit history. All you need is the permission of the account owner, who will be responsible for any charges that you fail to pay.

Becoming an authorized user on a parent’s account is a common solution for college students. Accounts where you’re an authorized user also show on your credit report, so your credit score can get a boost if the account owner has good credit.