College students have a lot to worry about — making friends, deciding on a major, and passing classes, among others. Credit cards are usually offered to students during Freshman orientation, but they may not know the best ways to use it or the importance of good credit. For parents with kids in college, having a candid conversation with them about their responsibilities when using a credit card is a must!

Before they start charging up a storm, they should know the importance of credit:

Credit is not a bad thing! College students should not be scared to use credit cards. Building a strong credit profile is based upon credit history, so establishing responsible credit behavior is beneficial. While most college kids don’t have to worry about home mortgages or car loans right now, they will in the future.

It’s unlikely a college student will get approved for a regular credit card without steady income. Parents can add them on as an authorized user under an existing credit card. This is a great way for them to start establishing good credit.

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If both parents have less-than-desirable credit, another option is to apply for a student card. While the limits are much lower, having a student card teaches youngsters to manage their money well.

Students should understand the importance of paying off their bills in full every month. Failure to do so will result in accumulated interest and fees. Students who are able to work part-time may want to explore the option of a debit card such as Kaiku, where the only money spent is money they actually have. This will allow them to have greater control of their spending.

Visa has more information that you can look into when it comes to obtaining a Student Card.