Applying for a credit card is the first step that college students take to reach financial independence. It gives opportunities for the students to build a positive credit history so that it is easier for them to get a loan. The following are 3 tips on what students who are studying at college or university should do when submitting their first credit card applications.

Many college students who want to apply for new credit cards do not have enough credit history. The lack of credit history means you won’t be qualified for the regular credit cards. Although you won’t qualify for the regular credit cards, you can apply for the student or secured credit card. When applying for a student credit card, make sure to look for one that offers bonuses such as cash back, and zero annual fee.

Secured credit cards are the type of card that anyone with bad credit or limited credit history should sign up. If you choose to sign up for a secured card, you have to prepare a collateral that is about $200. The collateral will be used as the credit limit for your credit card. The creditor can confiscate the collateral if you neglect to make the repayment. The usage of both student and secured credit cards will be reported to the credit bureau so your credit score will slowly build up if you keep on making repayment.

You must go through all the credit card terms including annual percentage rate (APR), fees and rewards. APR is the interest rate that will be charged onto your account if you choose to make a minimum repayment and carry a balance every month instead of paying it in full.

You must know how much APR you are charged. If the card has a zero interest introductory period, make sure you know how long it will last. Besides being charged with interest rates, you will also be charged with various types of fees. You must understand in what conditions you will get charged with fees and how much is the fees. If the card has rewards program, you must understand how to earn and redeem the rewards.

It is important not to sign up for the first offer that you see but use a credit card search engine to do research first. You should look under credit cards for students or secured credit cards at the credit card search engine. At the credit card search engine, you can compare the features of credit cards such as APR, balance transfer, annual fee, and introductory period.

If you want to be sure about the requirements of the credit card, you should call the toll free number listed at the credit card company site. To get the best first credit card experience, you should try to look for a card that has the lowest interest, no fees and have a good rewards program. It is advised that you start using your credit card as soon as you receive it so that you can quickly rebuild your credit score.