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Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt


Subject:  Re: Credit Card for College Freshman Date:  6/26/2007  5:02 PM
Author:  aounfest2007 Number:  254901 of 312161

Well, my boyfriend and I were freshmen last year and we both signed up for cards. We read all the fine print, don't carry balances, get rewards/cash back, and are very pleased with this project. :)

He first got the amex blue for students, but then decided he wanted the amex clear, and got that, too.

I got the amex blue cash, which I absolutely adore, but I also got the sharebuilder platinum visa--cuz amex isn't accepted everywhere, and I wanted to have a backup for emergencies.

Our decision to apply for cards was completely on a whim, but we weren't stupid about it. We studied up for a good hour (lol) on, the Fool, and msn Money before applying online. We went for Amex because it had a reputation, but because we did some homework, we also had a good idea of what wanted and didn't want.

-no annual fee
-we definitely wanted cash back/rewards (why not?!)
-preferably no expiration date on rewards (Sharebuilder Visa is 24 mos., but I'm careful)
-no CapitalOne, they don't fairly report your credit!

We didn't really care about interest rates, we never planned on carrying balances. We do charge just about everything we buy, and so we've been racking up some very sweet benefits! And our credit scores are awesome. We didn't even need our parents to co-sign our apartment lease, we can vouch for ourselves. :D

My parents were all proud when I told them about my card, I've never been irresponsible with my money--but my boyfriend's mom freaked out. Probably a reasonable reaction, considering she's got over $20k in credit card debt.

Sorry for writing a storybook here, I'm still feeling proud of myself. :)

But really, make sure your kid knows what a credit report is, why it's important to keep it gorgeous. If he understands that, I don't see why there should be any problems. We're just 19 and 20, but definitely old enough to appreciate the risks of being irresponsible with credit.

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