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How to apply for a student credit card successfully

Boost your chances by getting prepared before you apply.

A student credit card is a credit card targeted at college students and those otherwise new to the world of credit. To that end, students have the best chance of qualifying for a student credit card, though approval isn’t guaranteed. Here’s how to maximize your chances of qualifying for the student card of your choice.

How to apply for a student credit card

The application process is customized by banks according to their requirements. The general process for applying for a student credit card is:

  1. Research your card. The first step should always include thorough research. You can compare student credit cards to get an idea of various cards’ benefits and features.
  2. Pick the one that suits your needs. After comparing, you need to pick a card that’s suitable for your needs. You should check the eligibility criteria for the card and make sure you meet the conditions.
  3. Apply online. If you select a card from, you can click on Go to site on the page. This link will securely redirect you to the online application form. Filling out the form generally takes around 10 minutes. Make sure that all the information is correct and then submit the form to the bank. Most banks will respond within a couple of minutes indicating that they have successfully received the form.
  4. Wait for approval. The final verification of details and other documents can take three to five business days. Once your application is verified, the credit card company will contact you. If you’ve been approved, you should usually expect to receive your card within seven to 10 days.

What information will I need when applying?

The information required differs from bank to bank, but most often need to provide these details:

  • Personal details. Full name, date of birth, contact details, email and more.
  • Cosigner details. This is a person who would act as collateral or insurance, in case you are unable to pay off the debt. This can be your guardian, parent or any family member.
  • Student details. Information about your university, course, current year and more can be asked. You would also need to provide your student ID details.
  • Present financial details. Your current income and expense details are required during application. They might also ask about your current income or assets.

What to put for income on a credit card application for student credit card

Since you might not have a job when you’re in college, you’ll want to pull in any other sources of income for your application. So long as you can prove your income through bank statements then it counts as income toward your application. Some examples include:

  • Allowance from parents
  • Leftover financial aid
  • Freelance or gig income
  • Do you have to be a student to get a student credit card?

    Yes. Generally speaking, student cards are reserved for students. Most require confirmation of your student status in order to apply. If you’re not a student but you’re looking for a way to start building credit, consider applying for a card with a cosigner.

    How to apply for a student credit card by provider

    For more information on how to apply for a student card with each card provider, check out our full guides. You can also read more about student credit card preapproval where available through these guides.

    ProviderStudent card guide
    Capital OneHow to apply for a Capital One student card
    Bank of AmericaHow to apply for a Bank of America student card
    DiscoverHow to apply for a Discover student card
    ChaseHow to apply for a Chase student card
    American ExpressHow to apply for an American Express student card

    How to maximize your approval chances for a student credit card

    Like any other credit card, there are a few ways to maximize your odds for approval.

    1. Pay off any existing debts before applying. This can help your credit score and demonstrates financial responsibility.
    2. Apply for cards that match your credit score. You’re likely to not have much of a credit score as a student, but a poor credit score can harm your chances of approval.
    3. Apply for just one student card at a time. Applying for too many credit cards in a short period of time can cause your credit score to dip temporarily.

    Compare student credit cards

    If this card isn’t right for you, compare other student credit cards in the table. Select up to four cards and hit Compare to view their features side by side.

    Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Minimum Credit Score
    Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
    26.99% variable
    Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or get 1.25% cash back for months you pay on time.
    Deserve® Edu Card
    18.74% variable
    Designed for college students to build credit history and earn rewards.
    Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
    26.99% variable
    New to credit
    A student credit card with a solid 1.5% unlimited cashback rate.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    How to compare student credit cards

    When comparing student credit cards, consider these factors:

    • Fees. As a rule of thumb, the more basic the card, the lower the annual fee. As we go up the value chain of credit cards, the annual fees start increasing.
    • Interest rates. As a student, it’s ideal to look for low or 0% interest rate cards. Some credit cards offer low interest rates for an initial period of 3 to 12 months. After that intro period, you’ll pay the revert rate.
    • Extra features. If you are planning on traveling in the near future, you can look at cards offering complimentary travel insurance. Also, other features such as purchase protection insurance, lost card insurance and extended warranty insurance can be quite useful.
    • Rewards. Some card companies provide rewards points or cash back on certain purchases.
    • Credit history. Student credit cards are typically the first introduction to a line of credit. However, if you’ve used other credit products and have less than perfect credit history, look for secured cards to rebuild your credit.
    • Online account management. The credit card should have an easy online management system where you can quickly access the expenses, limits, interest rates and also get to know about any new offers.

    Bottom line

    Student credit cards can be a good way for cardholders to kickstart their credit history. Generally, these cards have a lower fee structure because of the limited repayment capacity of the students. If you use the card appropriately, by only making necessary purchases and paying your bills on time, you could start building a good credit history which will benefit you later in life.

    As there are many student credit cards on the market, it’s worthwhile to compare your options to find the right student card for you.

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    2 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      ViswatejaMarch 12, 2018

      I want credit card

        Default Gravatar
        joelmarceloMarch 15, 2018

        Hi Viswateja,

        Thanks for leaving a comment on finder.

        If you are a student and looking to get your first credit card, the information above has everything you need to get approved. Please make sure to read the eligibility criteria, features and the relevant PDS/ T&Cs of the card before submitting your application.


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