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How To Get a Student Credit Card

Advertiser Disclosure by Lucy Lazarony

How To Get A Student Credit Card

If you are a college student looking for a student credit card, you have plenty of options.

Banks and credit card issuers want you as a customer. And they’d like to keep you as a customer as you embark on a successful post-college career.

Because of this, local banks and credit unions near your college campus are likely to offer special credit card deals for area college students. And plenty of national credit card issuers offer student cards as well.

Student credit cards are available with cash back rewards and zero percent introductory rates, which can be a cost-effective way to charge textbooks that you may need a few months to pay off. Once the introductory rate expires, it’s ideal to pay your balance in full each month on a rewards card, and avoid paying interest charges on debt that could ultimately cancel out your reward benefits.

Because of the CARD Act, if you are under 21 and wish to open your own credit card account, you will need a co-signer who is older than 21, or you will need to provide adequate proof of income that shows you can handle the credit obligation on your own.

If you have bad credit and are on the hunt for a student credit card, reach out to a small bank or credit union near your college campus. A smaller bank or credit union may have more lenient credit standards and may be more willing to offer a credit card to a college student with less-than-perfect credit.

Not sure of your credit standing? Check out your credit scores with’s free Credit Report Card. It also provides an easy-to-understand breakdown of your credit history.

Once you qualify for a college credit card, you’ll want to use your student MasterCard or student Visa card wisely.

Making a series of on-time payments with a college credit card is a great way to build a solid credit history. So pay that card bill on time each and every month and keep balances low whenever you can.

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  • Meet Our Expert

    lucy_lazarony GravatarLucy Lazarony is a freelance personal finance writer. Her articles have been featured on Bankrate, MoneyRates, MSN Money, and The National Endowment for Financial Education. Prior to freelancing, she worked as a staff writer for Bankrate for seven years. She earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida and spent a summer as an international intern at Richmond, The American International University in London. She lives in South Florida.
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Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on News & Advice may also be offered through product pages, and will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.