Should Illinois college students choose student cards or secured cards as their first credit cards? It depends on several factors.

Illinois college students typically have a lot of important decisions to make. For example, they must choose their courses, potential majors, and decide whether or not they want to work while in school. In addition, many college students in Illinois opt to start building their credit histories. Having a good credit score upon graduation from college is helpful for several reasons. First, it makes it easier for graduates to finance cars and rent apartments. Next, depending on their chosen careers, young Illinois professionals with good to excellent credit may have more job opportunities. Of course, when it comes to building credit scores, students going to school in Illinois must decide on a credit card type. Should they choose student cards or secured cards as their first credit cards?

Why Some Illinois College Students Should Choose Student Cards as their First Credit Cards

For Illinois college students who qualify for student credit cards, these types of accounts can prevent them from having to come up with cash deposits. However, keep in mind that these cards normally require applicants to have at least a little credit history. So, if you are completely new to credit, you may want to opt for a secured credit card instead.

Also, most student credit card issuers only approve applicants who can prove sufficient income. Therefore, these cards are best for college students in Illinois who have at least part-time jobs. In addition, student cards normally come with lower-than-average credit limits. This means that student credit card holders must use them sparingly in order to build good credit scores.

As a general rule, no Illinois consumer should use more than 30% of their available credit. Otherwise, their credit utilization ratios increase, and their credit scores can drop. Therefore, anyone who uses a student credit card should pick one expense to charge to their cards every month – such as gas. Then, they should pay off the balance each and every month to avoid paying interest charges.

Why Some Illinois College Students Should Choose Secured Cards as their First Credit Cards

Most of the time, Illinois college students with absolutely no credit history should opt for secured credit cards. The major drawback to these cards is the fact that opening them requires putting down a cash deposit. However, when you provide this deposit, more often than not, you can set your credit limit. For example, if you put up $500, you can charge up to $500 with your secured credit card. Or, you can set your available credit at $1,000, $2,000, or more, depending on how much you want to spend.

Of course, college students in Illinois should realize that, even though they’ve provided cash deposits, they still need to keep up with their credit card bills. These cards are not prepaid cards that get loaded and unloaded. Instead, the cash deposit serves as insurance against default. Also, when choosing the perfect secured credit card, Illinois students should look for issuers that make it easy to transition to unsecured cards with higher spending limits.

Finally, the 30% rule also applies to secured credit cards. Meaning, no matter what limit you set with your cash deposit, you should never use more than 30% of your available credit at any time. So, while both student cards and secured credit cards are good for particular types of applicants, both cards require discipline from users.

Why All Illinois Credit Card Users Should Regularly Check their Credit Reports

Anyone working to build, re-build, or maintain good credit scores in Illinois should check their credit reports at least once every twelve months. This monitoring serves two main purposes. First, it gives you the opportunity to catch signs of identity theft such as fraudulent transactions or bogus accounts. Second, it allows you to find credit score damaging mistakes and errors on your credit reports.

So, go to to request your free annual copies of your credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Then, while reviewing your credit reports, if you spot signs of identity theft, file a police report immediately. Next, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Illinois. If, on the other hand, you find that mistakes and errors have brought your credit score down, call our firm right away.

Our team of in-house credit pros will get to work immediately to solve your credit issues, saving you the time and frustration typically involved with handling the dispute process on your own. In addition, you’ll get access to an experienced credit attorney who will do whatever it takes to get you clean credit reports – legally and for free.

The Free and Legal Way to Get Better Credit in Illinois

Don’t let identity theft damage or errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.

Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (855) 956-2089 or sending him a message through our contact page.

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