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Money Management

07/27/2015

Be Smart About Your Credit Card

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Having a credit card is an important way for you to establish credit prior to graduating from college. By following these tips, you’ll be able to graduate ahead of the curve:

  • Limit Yourself to One Card. The ticket to establishing a strong credit history is the way you use your credit not how much credit you have. In fact, sometimes having too many cards or loans can be detrimental. Find the best card for you and then use it, pay it off each month (or at least make a payment by the due date), and your credit will thank you.
  • Keep Your Line Open. Don’t use all of your credit line. Not only do you not need to “max out” your credit card, as that will not look good on your credit report, but what happens if you have an emergency? If your credit line is at its max, you’ll be stuck with another bill to repay at possibly a higher rate.
  • Focus on the Right Benefits. Many student credit cards offer “bells and whistles” designed to entice college students to use them. Do your homework. Read all of the fine print. Ask questions. Is that a benefit you really need, or is it just something nice to have? Is there a fee to use the benefit?
  • Stay Away from High Fees. As a college student, you don’t need to pay more than you should on a credit card. Stay away from high-interest cards and those with higher annual fees.

Your ability to use your credit card wisely as a college student will speak volumes as you enter into the “real world.” For more information about credit cards available at Southern Bank click here. Or, if you would like to learn more about establishing credit through Southern Bank, click here.