9 Your First Credit Card Spending Can Help You In College

Starting college comes with a lot of unknowns: different people, challenging colleges, and of course, new expenses. During this transition period, having a credit card can help make managing new expenses a little easier. Some credit card issuers specialize in student-only credit cards, such as 1st Financial Bank USA. Hear for yourself from 1FBUSA student credit card holders on how using their credit card helps them face their ignorance head-on. Read the 1st Financial Bank USA review below.

Table of Contents

1. Textbooks

Most college courses require students to purchase textbooks in order to properly participate in class. However, it is often surprising to find out how expensive they are. Even if you include textbooks in your budget, the cost or number of textbooks needed can increase. If you are in need of a textbook on short notice, you may not always have the necessary funds. A student credit card can help if you’re having trouble like this.

“That makes it very convenient and easy to pay for college textbooks online.” – Jeremy, 1FBUSA cardholder from TX

2. Tuition & Class Fees

When paying for your tuition and college fees, you will most likely use a combination of financial aid, grants, scholarships, personal savings, or student loans. However, what do you do if all your expenses are not covered once you run out of those resources? When faced with unplanned expenses for college courses, a credit card can help you cover additional costs.

“Help me by helping pay for the extra class fees I need without having to send money or be wired to me!” – Chase, 1FBUSA cardholder from MO

student fills his car with gasoline

3. Gas

Gasoline costs can add up quickly, especially if you commute to and from school or have an off-campus job. Having a credit card can come in handy when you’re between paychecks but need a full tank of gas. Once payday arrives, pay off your balance using your bank account, and you’ll soon have good credit.

“My credit card helped me buy gas when I didn’t have the money for it at the time. If it weren’t for my card, I wouldn’t have the gas to commute to college.” – Randi, 1FBUSA card holder from FL

4. Car Insurance & Repair

Maintaining a vehicle can be expensive. Unfortunately, car repairs tend to make themselves known at the most inopportune times. If your car breaks down and you have to pay a large bill, a credit card may be able to save it. Your credit card account may even be useful for recurring auto insurance payments.

“My credit card allows me to pay my car insurance in full and on time.” – Brea, 1FBUSA card holder from IN

5. Mobile Bill

Cell phones are a necessity for students. If you pay your own cell phone bill, it may be wise to set up automatic payments with your credit card. This will allow you to build your credit score. Always make sure to pay off your credit card balance so you don’t miss out.

“I was able to learn how to use a credit card to pay my phone bill. Simple and easy.” – Kenzie, 1FBUSA cardholder from CA

6. Homecoming

Sometimes, it is difficult to plan the cost of a trip. There may be instances where you plan your trip well in advance or book a flight the day before you depart. Whatever the term, your credit card can help with the costs. However, always consider your credit limit, as some travel expenses may be too expensive to use your credit card.

“I was able to get a last minute flight home during my Spring Break.” – Bailey, 1FBUSA cardholder from CA

student with his pet dog7. Vet’s Bill

If you had a pet in college, you know that sometimes they can be very expensive. Many things can come up, such as an emergency visit to the vet, a new medication, or surgery. Your pet’s expenses may also include basic necessities, such as food, toys, or grooming. Read more about expected and unexpected pet fees. Use your credit card to ensure that you can always take care of your pet, whether expected or not.

“It really helps to have my credit card on hand when my puppy suddenly gets sick and has to visit the vet.” – Olivia, 1FBUSA card holder from MA

8. Online Shopping

Online shopping is often much more convenient than going to the store. If you are a busy student, you may find it more difficult to get to the store. Plus, when shopping online, you can often choose from a variety of student discounts. Check out this list of student discounts to help you get started. If you need a new dress or a gift for a friend, don’t be afraid to use your credit card.

“I can order gifts from online wedding registrations, and save money on pants because it’s only online.” – Nicole, 1FBUSA cardholder from IL

9. Unexpected Emergencies

Throughout college, you may find yourself facing an emergency that requires a financial fix. For example, you may find yourself having car trouble or needing to make a sudden trip home. Plus, when you’re in college, a large emergency fund doesn’t always make sense. Don’t forget to shop smartly, while credit cards are great for emergencies, you’ll want to be able to pay off your credit card expenses later.

“I only use my new card for emergencies or when cash is running low. I also bought a Christmas present. It’s easy to stay within your means when you stay on a budget. I’m glad I have this credit card to build my credit and ‘just in case’ moments.”

The 1FBUSA review shared above provides a good look at how credit cards can be used. There are many expenses that a credit card can help with in college. However, before filling out a credit card application, make sure you understand how credit cards work. Applying for a credit card is one of the first steps you can take towards achieving financial independence and building your credit history.

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