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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/hi-im-a-student-too-be-cautious-with-credit-25914798.aspx

Subject:  Re: A Student who wants to Build Credit Date:  9/19/2007  10:38 AM
Author:  aounfest2007 Number:  260986 of 308547

Hi! I'm a student, too! Be cautious with credit, but don't be afraid of it. If you use it wisely, it can be a great and convenient tool for building good credit; (every so slightly) delaying payments so that you can hold onto and earn interest on your money, longer; freeing you from carrying large amounts of cash, which can be unsafe; and you can even earn rewards! (Hey, if you're gonna spend money, you may as well get some perks for doing it, right?) :D

Don't be scared, but I'm one of those people who charges every little thing to my card. I have AMEX Blue Cash, and enjoy getting a percentage of my purchases back.

I've run into no trouble at all. I pay my balances in full every month, and my credit score is in the healthy 700s.

I'd have to recommend you get an AMEX. Their customer service is excellent, they're very upfront about what fees they do and don't charge, they have great rewards programs, and I really can't say enough good things about them. I have heard that AMEX will report a misleadingly high Average Daily Balance to the credit bureaus, but I utilize such a small portion of my available credit that I don't worry about it.

Which brings me to another thing: provided you don't have a compulsive spending problem, go for high credit limits. If a credit card company offers to raise your limit, accept. If you want to request an increase online, by all means do it. You'll be rewarded with a higher FICO for a favorable available credit-to-debt ratio.

Much as I love my AMEX though, it's not accepted everywhere. For that reason, it's a good idea to also carry something else, like a Visa. (I have the Sharebuilder rewards Visa, and it's going great so far.)
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