When you’re going to university, you may be wondering what to pack. Bed linen, clothes, coat hangers and perhaps a toaster. But did you add a credit card to your list? 

Many students would rather party the night away as opposed to discussing credit cards – but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. As a student, if you can manage it correctly, then having a credit card isn’t a bad idea at all.

With 1 in 4 UK adults at financial risk, it’s best to get into good habits as early as possible.   

Why get a credit card as a student?

A traditional credit card may be difficult to get hold of as you may need a regular income and positive credit score. However, student credit cards are designed for those going to university. If you’re about to move away from home, then there are a lot of things you’re likely to need, so a credit card can be an invaluable way to finance some of these items.

You’ll likely need: 

  • Bed linen (such as duvet covers, pillowcases, sheets and blankets)
  • Clothes
  • A few sets of towels
  • Coat hangers
  • A laptop 
  • Kitchen items such as kettles and toasters
  • A desk lamp

Using your credit card responsibly 

It’s important to use your credit responsibly. Credit cards help you build a good credit rating (along with things such as getting yourself on the electoral register). But if you don’t pay your bills on time then you may end up doing more harm than good.

If you harm your credit score whilst at university, it may end up hindering you when you come to apply for things later down the line. Your credit score can affect lots of different areas of your life and a poor credit score can impact: 

  • Renting
  • Getting a job
  • Loans
  • Mobile phone contracts
  • Insurance premiums

To name but a few! 

Why should you consider grabbing a credit card?

Although a credit card isn’t something to be taken on lightly, it can prove to be a real benefit to many students. Credit cards can provide several advantages including more flexibility with spending, credit history and access to incentives such as cashback or loyalty points. 

By getting into good habits early on, you’ll set yourself up well for later life. Having a credit card means you can learn how to manage your money and budget while living away from home. Not only this, but when money gets tight, you can use your credit card to tide you over when you’re waiting for your next student loan instalment. 

A credit card also lets you prepare for the unexpected, as you never know what’s around the corner.


Published on Holr Magazine