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Do I really need a credit card when I go to college?
The answer really depends on your situation. Can you afford to pay all your bills on time without a credit card? If so, that is great. You probably don’t really need a card. However, you might consider a credit card for emergencies—such as a flat tire or an expensive school assignment.
Also, do you need to travel long distances to school? Maybe you need to fly to get to school. In that case you’ll need to have a credit card to book flights. If you need a rental car, you can only rent those with a credit card.
Having a credit card can make some purchases more convenient—such as online orders. Some college students (or their parents) think it is important to have a credit card available to start building a credit rating. Under the new Credit CARD Act, it is harder for young adults under the age of 21 to get a credit card. You must have a cosigner or be able to show proof that you have enough income to repay the debt.
If you feel that you need a credit card, shop around for the best deal. Often credit unions have the lowest rates, or go through the financial institution where you have your checking and/or savings accounts. Get the best deal by selecting a card with the lowest possible credit limit, the lowest interest rate, and no annual fees. And always pay the bill before it’s due to build and keep a good credit rating.
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