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Scott Gamm, a junior at New York University's Stern School of Business, used his income from freelance work and blogging to obtain a Visa card and then Nike Soccer Shoes Indoor Kids
If you don't think your college kid is ready for a credit card, you can opt for a debit card linked to a checking account. The downside: These cards don't help build credit scores.
Credit card solo
That makes parents, as the likeliest co signers, more involved in the card or no card decision. Her daughter Sarah, who's 19 and about to start her second year of college, uses her PayPal card instead. That lets her mom fund the balance as well as see how spends her money.
These cards can be readily found at pharmacies and convenience stores and bear the MasterCard, Visa or American Express logo. They work like debit cards but are Football Cleats Purple
Credit card issuers have differing standards in determining whether an applicant under 21 has the ability to make payments. Some may say it's enough if he or she has a job and can afford the minimum monthly payment. That can take the decision out of Mom and Dad's hands.
Any student who gets a card should use it only for emergencies or otherwise pay it off immediately. "Students should Football Cleats Blue view their credit card as a way to build strong credit via minor purchases here and there and not as a way to extend their spending habits," he says. If so, a card with a very low limit is a good way to start building credit without undue risk.
With or without a credit card, payment options for students under 21 remain plentiful:
Some students under 21 have upperclassmen, friends or siblings sign for them to avoid parental hassles. That could be a mistake for both sides. If the student can't pay, the co signer is responsible for all the debt and the credit history of both parties will be affected. But if the card has a high credit limit there's the potential for greater unchecked spending.
not connected to checking accounts. Many can be registered online so users can review transactions and balances.
now have big debts to show for their "status symbols."
The Credit Card Act that took effect 21/2 years ago made it much harder for anyone under 21 to get a card. Gone are the days of card issuers racking up scads of new customers on campus by handing out free T shirts or rewards points for spring break.
Should they send their green freshmen off to campus armed with a debit or credit card to learn how to handle money? Or is it better to keep firm control through the Bank of Mom and Dad?
"The more credit you have access to, especially at that young age, the higher the probability you'll use that card to finance fancy clothes, restaurants and entertainment," says Gamm, 20.
Parents of college bound students have a decision to make as offers stream in for their soon to depart teenagers.
Some students, though, have shown they're disciplined enough to have their own card on campus.
Parents face choice on cards for college kids
an American Express card recently. He charges $200 or $300 on them monthly and pays every bill in full.
But he has friends who obtained three or four cards within a year and Football Boots Size 13
"I don't think anything related to debt belongs in the hands of a college kid," says Federman, communications director of a marketing agency. "The vast majority are not experienced enough with money or cognizant enough of the risks."
Secured credit card
Under 21s can still obtain a credit card if they have a qualified co signer or proof of sufficient income to repay the debt. And card issuers still market aggressively to college students, targeting them with pre screened mail offers.
These cards are backed by prepaid deposits, making them more manageable as well as relatively easy to obtain. Cards that report to a credit agency can help build the student's credit score. When applying for a card, call and ask which agencies it reports to.
You should be able to set up email or text message alerts to be notified about any transaction that goes over a certain amount.
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