Living in the US can mean important changes for international students such as new-found independence, global exposure, and introduction to adulthood. Amidst all the going on that consists of exams, placements, and university these individuals become young adults holding out their first jobs, renting out their first apartment off campus.
However, entering adult-hood can be tricky as you balance new responsibilities whilst making time still be somewhat young, wild and free. With so much happening around you, you may wonder why would I need a credit card? Especially, when my debit card does the work just fine. But, while your debit card holds up to your needs, a credit card can you give an added advantage in the adult world.
In this post, we list out all the reasons why an international student needs a credit card in the US.
1. Helps build strong Personal Credibility
Your credit cards become your grades post-university, one that employers and land lower may use to judge you. Credit scores or credit reports are often looked up by landlords and employers to judge a person’s character. According to a report by CNN, in 2010 sixty percent of employers in the US admitted to running credit checks on potential employees. This may be an important fact to consider for an international student who may not have connections or past records to present their credibility in the US, during such times an international student could use their credit card reports as proof.
2. Enjoy the security
Staying away from the familiarity of your country has certain implications, for instance when disaster or emergency strikes one cannot simply call their loved ones and have things solved in an instance especially since transferring money between nations can be a lengthy and tiresome process for many. Hence, when in need of immediate money due to an emergency a credit card is something you can rely on. It works as a security blanket when things get tough.
3. Repayment teaches responsibility
Being responsible and accountable can have great importance in the adult world, two attributes valued by employers and peers alike. Owning a credit card teaches you these skills by holding you accountable for your actions; if you fail to pay your APR (annual percentage rate) in a timely manner you run a risk of getting a bad credit score which will inevitably affect your future credibility. Whereas, a good credit score allows for you to be trusted easily, learning to make payments on time teaches you to be responsible a skill that can help you handle the crucial paperwork on time and better manage university or work life.
4. Learn Money Managing Habits
A credit card as mentioned earlier is an added responsibility, which may seem like a burden initially but has huge benefits in the future. An international student who has a credit card in the US is compelled to manage their money wisely often proportioning their salaries or allowances to pay the APR interest rates. Living abroad could be quiet challenging and a good money management skill can save you from constantly depending on your loved ones for money, this skill will help you become more independent and spend wisely.
5. Redeem the rewards
This is a long shot, but trust us its rewards are not too shabby. Many banks offer lucrative incentives if you use their cards, for example, Starwood Preferred Guest by American Express works with a point system to allow customers to enjoy free nights at luxury hotels such as Westin, Sheraton, Aloft granted they have collected enough Starpoints. Which could mean a luxury staycation for you or a great way to host your family when they come to visit, you choose!
Lastly, a credit card if chosen correctly and managed responsibly will be given to international students in the US and added an advantage in showing their credibility while teaching important life skills that are essential to thrive in the adult world.