Q: I was just accepted to grad school and kind of wasn't expecting to. I'm looking for a low interest card that will go to tuition and fees entirely. What would you recommend?
Even if you qualify for some of the best low interest credit cards on the market, paying for college with plastic doesn't always make the most sense. As long as you haven't defaulted on a previous student loan, you should remain eligible for a federal Stafford loan with a maximum interest rate that's less than any of the "go-to" credit card rates in our database. Your student loan accrues interest while you're taking classes full time, but you won't need to make minimum monthly payments until you switch to part time status or you complete your degree program.
If attending graduate school will force a major change in your household income, use this time to compare credit card offers for terms that can help you stretch out the cost of books and meals over your first few semesters. Avoid the mistake of keeping the same lifestyle you're enjoying now, unless you want to rack up a huge credit card balance alongside your student loan burden. Federal statistics estimate that most students leave graduate school with at least $46,000 in outstanding debt. Take a look at these low introductory rate offers.
Whichever credit card you choose, remember to take advantage of text or e-mail alerts that can remind you to pay your bill on time or to avoid hitting your credit limit. School can distract you from your money, so don't let a final exam or term paper cost you hundreds of dollars in penalties or interest.