Q: I am a college student and am looking for work. Does not having a job affect my ability to get a credit card? If not, what are some of the best student credit card options with low interest rates?
Yes, not having a job affects your ability to get a student credit card, you're absolutely right. Look at it from the bank's perspective. Would you lend to you?
Student credit cards are designed for students, in the sense that credit card companies recognize that college students aren't going to have a lengthy credit history to show that they're a good credit risk. They get that they aren't making a ton of money yet. And so their requirements for applicants a little looser than they are for, say, a 41-year-old with a mortgage, a car, a couple kids and a dog.
But credit cards, as you would probably suspect, are not a free source of ready cash for college students who don't have jobs. The credit card companies do expect you to either have some sort of steady income, or a willing parent or guardian co-signer who can make payments if you aren't able to.
And rightfully so. I wouldn't lend cold hard cash to somebody if I thought that there was a fair chance I wouldn't get my money back. Would you?
So what I'm getting at is -- you said you're looking for work now. I would definitely advise you to wait until you've secured a job, and then apply for a student credit card. Since you asked, some of our favorite ones are from Discover and Citibank. But the main goal from a college credit card isn't to get rich on rewards; it's to create a credit history, and in that sense, Discover and Citibank's college student credit cards both serve their functions.
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