Moving abroad has its fair share of challenges. Most international students have to struggle with adapting to a new culture while also managing their school work. However, having your finances under control is very important.
Signing up for a credit card will help you keep tabs on your finances. There are plenty of options on the market, including student credit cards, which are only available for 18-to-21-year-olds who don’t have a healthy credit history.
In this guide are tips that will help you choose the best international credit card for students. The guide will also help you understand how these cards work so that you can pick the one that will suit your needs.
Review Eligibility Requirements
The first factor you need to check is the eligibility requirements. A few years back, even 17-year-olds could get credit cards. However, the rules were revised to protect anyone under 21 years old from exploitation by credit companies.
If you are under 21 years old, you need proof to show that you are earning an income either from a part-time or full-time gig. However, if you are not employed, you will need to look for a co-signer who will pay up accrued bills in case you are unable to.
The other thing that will come into play is your credit history. Some credit firms may ignore this requirement since most students barely have an existent credit history. We recommend doing intense research on this to avoid working with shady credit facilities.
Hidden Charges and Interest Rates
One common mistake that many international students make is skimming through the fine print when signing up to open a credit account. Don’t sign the document before reading through the terms and conditions. Also, consult an expert at your school or look at this now for more information.
Some credit facilities add hidden charges in the fine print to hoodwink their customers. Also, don’t take a card that comes with a high annual percentage rate, also known as APR. High APRs mean you will pay high fees in case you make any late payments.
Some credit firms charge an annual fee that comes with several perks. Before you decide whether you want to pay the annual fee or not, ensure that you review the benefits. Are the benefits or perks worth the fee you will be paying at the end of every year?
You also need to remember that the fee will be deducted from your credit amount. So, for example, if you get around $500 USD of credit and the annual charge is $100 USD, you will end up with $400 USD in your account.
Only consider going for credit cards with annual fees if the rewards and perks you earn will offset the charge. The annual fees may also affect your credit score if you end up spending over 30% of the money on your card.
The best international credit card for students can help you manage your finances better. Nonetheless, you need to be careful not to get yourself into financial debt and poor credit history.