I have a credit card and I’m not afraid to use it!

Ok, sometimes I’m not afraid to use it.

The Story (If you just want the point, skip to the bottom!)

The week of my 18th birthday my mom and I strolled into the bank and took her name off of my bank accounts and I applied for a credit card.

I was denied because of limited credit history… limited? How about none? I had just turned 18. So my mom and I met with the bank lady (I don’t really know her real title) to see if we could apply with her as a cosigner. This made sense to everyone but the bank who said, “no, no one can apply with a cosigner.”

So I asked her, “Exactly how am I supposed to build a credit history if I can’t even get a credit card to start establishing my credit?” Which is when she recommended I apply for a department store credit card and build credit that way. Not being thrilled with that answer, I went outside of the bank and started reading up on independent credit card acceptance rules. Which lead me to apply for my very own card with Discover… and was accepted for a student card, on my own, without a credit history.

The Point

It was so hard to actually get a credit card at age 18, but it was a very wise decision because I knew how to use it. Most college students find that credit cards get them into trouble and stay away, but thanks to having and actually using one I have a history to be able to get a car loan or buy a house some day.
Ok college students here’s what you do:

Use your card to buy what you need (gas, groceries, books, etc). Then, you PAY IT OFF.

What not to do:

– Buy things you don’t currently have the funds for

– Make minimum payments only

– Pay late

Not only has having a card given me a history, it’s actually saved me money and PAID me to use it. Yes, you read that right. I get cash-back rewards and special shopping. For instance, thanks to timing and the rewards program just for paying for our honeymoon on a credit card, we got $100 back (which is going toward said honeymoon).

I’m not a financial adviser by any stretch of the imagination, do not consider me one. I was taught well and have learned through my experiences and simply want to share my opinion.

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