In the past, college credit cards for students were easily accessible as companies could offer a wide range of credit card options for university and college students, but recent laws have been passed so that these cards are not as accessible to students due to the fact that many typically found themselves in a situation where a high interest rate was present, a high amount of debt was acquired, or simply the fact that some credit cardholders were not of a responsible age yet were given a card and as a result were left with credit problems early in their life. However, there are still student credit card options which can be beneficial for those who are at a university and may need access to a line of credit or for those whose parents wish to offer a credit card to their student for the purposes of either basic financial needs or building a credit history early.
A recent report explored options for cards that may be available to younger individuals, most notably prepaid cards, but their are cautions that go along with giving young men and women access to a line of credit or a prepaid card as there are often fees associated with these types of cards. While secured credit cards, which may be available to parents or accessible to students who may be further along in their college career could help with establishing a credit history.
Obviously, secured credit cards are one option that may be available for those who want to begin building a credit history early in life, but they do require collateral and smart budgeting, saving, and spending habits on the part of the cardholder as they are not like a debit card, meaning money deposited into an account to secure the card will not be used to pay off purchases. However, for college students or parents of a college student who want to give access to credit or capital to their son or daughter may also have the opportunity for a simple debit card.
While a checking account for a college student which is linked to a debit card can be beneficial, in that a parent can make deposits into the account which will provide the funding a student may need, there are some situations where commentators feel a prepaid card may be better than a debit card or vice versa.
Typically, when it comes to offering access to cash through a line of credit or debit card, parents often benefit from simply looking at the situation where money may be needed. There are those who feel that in cases where money may be needed in the short term, a prepaid card can be helpful so that access to cash can be easily gained, but in the case where a student is sent off to college, a debit card may be more helpful for the long-term.
It goes without saying that no matter what situation arises or what type of card an individual chooses for their student, research must be done as there are various offers for a wide range of cards that will come with different interest rates, fees, or requirements. Yet, parents may be able to rest easy knowing that students cannot gain access to unsecured credit cards, as was a problem in the past, when college campuses were a breeding ground for new cardholders who typically spent well over what they could afford to repay and found themselves in a great deal of debt as a result. While prepaid and secured credit cards may be beneficial in some instances, parents have been advised to also research options for simple debit cards which are linked to a checking account as this may not only provide access to funds for various expenses but can teach a young students about financial responsibility and money management.