Are you a Graduate? Here’s what you should do to your Student Credit Card!

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People do not need to leave their student credit cards behind when they graduate from college. The credit card providers will allow the graduates to hold on to their student cards until the time they want to.

In fact, keeping your account open is a smart strategy for maintaining your credit score- with making your card payments well on time and clearing off your balance monthly. The credit card company might even upgrade and update your account, which will allow you to enjoy better terms or better rewards while preserving your credit history also.

Once you graduate, the credit card company will simply reclassify your student account such that it is not tagged as a student’s anymore.

On the other hand, if you cancel your credit card, it will have a negative impact on your credit score. In case the student card is the oldest card, the length of the credit history of the cardholder may get reduced upon canceling the card, and it is a factor in your entire credit history. Rather than canceling the student credit cards, you can consider the following tips for the ways of utilizing this card once you graduate.

1. Updating your Details

A lot of students have a credit card; however, what happens to these cards after they graduate? These accounts could be amazing launching points to help build a credit being an adult.

The student cards are generally issued with lower credit limits, which reflect the more risk students with low or no income have for the credit card companies.

Once you graduate, you should call your card provider for updating your information with them. This may include-

  • Contact details
  • Your graduation date
  • Income
  • Housing details (like mortgage or house rent payments)

Having all this information will help the card provider in considering you for an increase in credit line because your capability of paying will increase when you earn a higher income. You can generally do this online or using the mobile application.

In case you have been enjoying various rewards and benefits as a perk of the student credit card and are not prepared to redeem them, some of the credit card companies will let you transfer them to your other cards.

2. Importance of Good Credit

Making sure that your spending lies within the limits of your budget will help you in controlling your credit. Good credit is not only a number on a piece of paper, that simple data has huge implications in your life as an adult. The following are some of the examples.

  • The employers may check your credit: Some of the companies go through your credit for understanding how responsibly you are meeting your payment deadlines & managing your funds. It is good to review your own credit report to know what your potential boss will be looking at. Many credit card companies also offer free credit checks.
  • Borrowing new loans need credit ScoreThe lenders will review the credit history of the loan applicants as a part of their application process. Bad history of repayments like late or partial payments might have a bad impact on your credit score as well as your borrowing ability.
  • A rental application may need credit: Your potential landlords may customer report for evaluating your rental application, and the most commonly used customer report is a report they get from a credit reporting organization.
  • Credit score has an effect on your rates of interest: Having a lower or bad credit score will mean that you are a higher-risk borrower. The lenders who agree to lend you funds may charge you a higher rate of interest. This is applicable for both credit cards and loans.
  • Responsible actions can help you in improving your score: Making bill payments in full and on time and not using a lot of your available credit can help you in redeeming your credit score. Other than this, you should never use your credit card to live a life beyond your means. For helping to monitor your card balances, you can set up credit card alerts, which will notify you via text or email whenever your balance exceeds the amount you have chosen. 

3. After School, Budget for Life

Even a degree or a professional job, the paychecks at entry-level might not go far. This is your time to begin budgeting. It is not just a good habit, but good money management at this time in life can help you set up a solid foundation when it comes to your working life.

Maintain a budget and expense spreadsheet: The objective of this spreadsheet is to calculate the bills that you expect on paying such as insurance, internet, rent, and utilities, such that you will be aware of the things you can afford. The best way is to overestimate the amount you expect to pay in order to be sure you are not shorting yourself.

Consider changing accommodation or share rent: It can be tempting to have your own apartment on rent; however, you will be able to save a good amount of money by sharing a house with roommates, especially if you live in a high-cost city. There is absolutely no shame in moving back home with your family, especially in case it can help you to build up the savings.

Think properly before you buy a new vehicle: Your vehicle could be a huge expense. Consider if you can buy a used car rather than a new one, and put the additional funds towards long-term savings or for paying off the other debts. The cars are meant to be for transformation and not some financial burden.

Plan to clear your debts: You must focus on clearing your debts with the highest rate of interest first, while still making the minimum payments monthly at least on the others. Amongst the biggest financial challenges for various new graduates is clearing off their debts against student loans. 

4. Maintain Good Practices on your Credit Card

While the rewards on your credit cards, which fit your lifestyle are a good way of getting more from your budget, you must avoid to apply for brand cards at each retailer you shop with frequently. Having more than some open lines of credit makes it even easier to skip payments and lose sight of your total debt amount. Moreover, every time you apply for a fresh line of credit, the inquiry gets recorded on the credit file. Having more credit applications in a short frame of time may have negative effects on your credit rating or credit score.

That being said, in case you commute to work or school, it could be helpful to get extra benefits or rewards in some additional areas that include-

  • Gas stations
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores
  • Taxi services

The best rewards credit cards usually have higher requirements for application as compared to standard credit cards. If you have spent time in the workforce and have managed your credit responsibly, between undergraduate & graduate school, you might be able to be eligible for the cards you did not qualify for previously while being a student.

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