Getting a Student Credit Card

When you get a credit card as a student, then it can seem like the best thing since sliced bread.

No longer are you looking at your bank balance wondering what you actually have, as you can spend up to the credit limit on the card and worry about it later. Right? Well, no, wrong!

Actually the limit on most student cards will be relatively low at around £500 or so and you should definitely resist trying to get it increased.

Never, ever spend on the card unless you know you have the money to pay off the bill in full. And that is the single most important tip of having your first credit card - make sure that every bill you pay off in full when it comes in.

If you don't do that you will end up paying a quite scary amount extra in interest and that item you bought for £100 is before long costing you £150 - you would never buy it at that price so don't let interest accrue. You should actually ignore the very option of paying off a 'minimum balance' each month and pay the full amount.

Armed with that one tip, then feel free to use the credit card when it is convenient to do so, just don't rely on it and see the piece of plastic as being capable of transactions that are less real than cash. If you find it hard to be disciplined then each time you hand over the card just visualise yourself reaching in your wallet and giving out the actual notes for that transaction cost.

If you ever get sent credit card cheques - soon to be outlawed - then shred and bin them as soon as you open the envelope.

Also never use the credit card to withdraw cash from a cash machine unless it is an emergency - you will be hit with fees for the privilege of doing this with virtually all credit cards.

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