A credit card can make it easy to overspend. If you use your card, you must pay for what you buy. You don’t get a break because you are a teenager. If you spend more money than you are able to repay, you can ruin your credit score, also known as a credit rating.
Businesses may look at your credit score before renting to you, hiring you, making a car loan or giving you a credit card. Credit information will typically stay on your credit report for seven years.
As a student, you can think of your credit report as your credit transcript and your credit score as your credit GPA. The scale ranges from 300 to 850. Credit scores of 700 or more are generally considered to be good. Credit scores are based on your total debt, number of credit accounts including new credit inquiries, the age of the accounts and the proportion of credit card balance to the total available credit card limit.
Be extremely wary of the number of credit cards you take out. Even though you may get a 10 percent discount for applying for a card when you make that purchase, just applying for the card may lower your credit score. It also makes it more difficult to track the cards you are using. You may be more likely to miss payments when you have more cards.
Choose the best credit card
As a young person, you are a prime marketing target for credit card companies. Do your research before signing up for a card to get the best deal. Fees, charges and benefits vary among credit card issuers. Compare these features and select a card that fits your needs.
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the yearly interest rate that
includes any fees or additional costs associated with transactions. Avoid
paying interest on purchases by paying your balance in full each month.
- Grace period is the time between the date of purchase and the date interest begins accruing.
- Annual fees are charged by many credit card issuers for granting you credit.
- Transaction fees and other charges are added to your bill if you use the card for a cash advance, if you fail to make a payment on time or if you exceed your credit limit.