Are Students Eligible for a Credit Card?

I have been asked whether or not students are eligible for a credit card several times now, by different people.

This is a tricky question and one that is best answered only after deciding whether or not you should even have a credit card as a student.

Once you’ve determined whether or not you should even go get a credit card, then the next step is figuring out whether you are eligible for a card.

Here are some things that credit card companies look for in deciding whether or not somebody is eligible for their credit:


This is something that all lenders, credit card companies or traditional bank loan companies, will look at when they are considering whether to give you a credit card. As a student you may not be eligible for a credit card if you do not have any income.

money pic

The reason lenders look at income is to determine whether or not you are eligible for a card is to ensure that you will be able to pay your debt back.

They obviously don’t want to lend to a student who has no income and a poor credit history because chances are they won’t get them back.

Credit History

Students may not be eligible for a credit card if they have no credit history or poor credit history.

If you have ever not paid a bill and it has gone to collections, or if you’ve repeatedly been late on payments or have defaulted on your student loans or something of that nature, you may not be eligible for a credit card.

Lenders are looking at whether you are likely to pay your debt back. If the answer is no – you’re not likely because you never paid it back in the past – they won’t lend to you.

If you have no credit history, which many students don’t, then you can sometimes still get a credit card, it just won’t have a very large limit (maybe $500).

Want a Card but Keep Getting Denied? 

If you really want a credit card (maybe you want rewards points or cash back or something), but keep getting denied for a card, then you may want to get a bill or two under your name to build credit history a bit.

You can also ask a cosigner to co-sign your credit card, if you are interested in that.

This could help you get a credit card sooner but then if you don’t pay it, the cosigner is on the line for your debt. It’s nice to be as independent as possible as a student, so you may not want to ask a cosigner to help you out.

Some Students Are Eligible For Credit Cards

Just because you are a student doesn’t mean that you will never be eligible for a credit card – try it out. Some companies are easier to get a card with than others, and then you can build up your credit and get a better card later on. Don’t give up!


Do you have a credit card/did you have one as a student?


Are Students Eligible for a Credit Card? — 9 Comments

  1. My parents had me listed on their Amex which I would use for gas and groceries during high school.

    Apparently that also went on my credit history, which allowed me to get all kinds of other credit relatively easily during college. The key is understanding credit = a loan that must be repaid. Which I knew early on, so I didn’t get in any problems.

  2. Pingback: Aspiring Blogger – Personal Finance Carnival #24 – December 27, 2013 | Aspiring Blogger

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