College Students

August 07, 2014

College Students a Prime Target for Credit Card Promotions: Students Need to Do their Homework to Avoid Fees


As the fall semester begins, freshman arriving on campus will face many new challenges in the year ahead.  The lesson of managing their money is one that can have a long-lasting effect.

Many students are faced for the first time in their lives with the task of paying bills and living on a budget, all while learning how to balance classes and often work demands.  It is not uncommon for students to feel overwhelmed with these new circumstances and seek out opportunities to help them pay the bills.

Credit card companies know this too, which is why college students are a prime target for credit card promotions.

Better Business Bureau® Serving Central Indiana encourages students to do their homework and be smart about their finances. Parents can help by talking about money management strategies and establishing a plan together.

A new student may receive letters to sign up for pre-approved credit cards, Better Business Bureau® Serving Central Indiana offers these tips:

  • Create a budget for each month based on how much money is needed each month. Also, think about the best way to pay for these expenses.
  • Decide what expenses the credit card will be used for.
  • Do your homework by asking:
    • Are there annual fees or introductory rates?
    • What is the interest rate?
    • Does or can the interest rate change and why?
    • Is there overdraft protection and if so, does this affect the interest rate?
    • Are there any other fees that occur with the overdraft protection?
    • Are there any requirements or “conditions” to obtaining the credit card?  Such as: Opening a savings account with the provider?
    • Are there any limitations on where or how the credit card can be used?
    • Evaluate where the credit card offer is coming from. Is it from your bank who offers regular credit cards or through a company who helps you apply for a credit card? 
  • Use caution if the company charges a fee to “learn more” or “apply” for the credit card.
  • Sometimes credit card issuers offer special deals for students’ first credit cards.  Ask your bank what options they may have for you! 

If you have a question about a company or want to find an Accredited Business you can trust, visit BBB’s website at:

Schedule an interview or need more information, please contact Leah McGrath at or 317-502-9996.