The total population of Indian students enrolled in higher education stands at 37.4 million, as of 2019. While the figure may seem impressive in itself, it only results in a 26.3% Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER). A primary cause behind such low participation is the cost of education in India, which sticks above what numerous families in India can afford.
In rural areas, annual education costs for general courses alone can be to the tune of Rs.5,240. This cost sharply rises to Rs.16,000 in urban areas. On top of that, more than 75% of students in India stay away from home to pursue higher education. This involves living expenses as well. To address issues of this sort and provide greater financial independence to students, financial institutions offer student credit card.
What are credit cards for students?
Financial institutions provide several types of credit cards, tailored to fulfil the needs of customers. A student credit card serves a similar purpose. It allows students to meet various educational expenses and other ancillary costs arising in their course duration.
What are the features of a student credit card?
The specific features a credit card for students brings usually vary depending on the financial institution. However, here are a few common characteristics of this payment tool:
1- Low credit limit
One of the distinctive features of a credit card for students is that it comes with a lower limit compared to other types. Usually, it is limited at Rs.15,000. This ensures that students can limit availing of credit for only essential purposes. A higher limit often leads to unnecessary spending, which might result in the user falling into debt trap as well as affecting his/her credit profile.
2- Low associated charges
Usually, credit cards entail substantial joining fees and annual charges. However, in the case of student cards, the joining fee is considerably less; even nil in some instances. Apart from that, yearly charges are also low. Thus, it becomes easier for students to manage their expenses efficiently with a credit card.
3- Tenure of validity
Student credit cards usually remain valid for a reasonable period. The maximum term is 5 years in most cases. With such validity tenure, students can cover all necessary expenses during their course period with ease.
4- Simple application
Availing a student credit card involves minimal documentation. It simplifies the application procedure for individuals. It also brings down the time of approval, further providing convenience to students.
5- Loan facility
Students can avail of a loan against their credit cards as well. They can pay this loan in simple EMIs over a short period of typically 3 months. It is one of the ways individuals can use a credit card wisely to maximise their benefits. With specific student cards, like the Bihar student credit card, however, users can borrow a loan of up to Rs.4 lakh.
What are the benefits of a student credit card?
1- Become financially responsible
One of the primary benefits of using a credit card is that the user becomes more financially cognisant over time. It can be an essential bonus when a student finally graduates.
2- Building credit score
Students can use a card to build and improve their credit score remarkably. By making timely payments and being responsible with how they utilise the credit limit, students can build a substantial credit score by the time they graduate.
3- Apply for better cards
With this credit score reliability, they can further apply for premium cards, like the Bajaj Finserv RBL Bank SuperCard, when they start earning. Such cards provide significant cashback, discounts, and reward points, which can considerably enhance the benefits to a cardholder.
Such financial institutions also bring pre-approved offers, which make for faster and more simplified loan application and approval. Such offers can be availed on credit cards, personal loans, business loans, and such other financial products. Individuals can provide their name and mobile number to check their pre-approved offer online.
Individuals need to satisfy the following criteria to avail a student credit card –
- Above 18 years
- Pursuing higher education
In some cases, lenders might require a student to be servicing an education loan to qualify for this line of credit. They can thus apply for a credit card online in a few simple steps if they are eligible for it.
By using a student credit card to manage expenses throughout the course duration, individuals can develop their pecuniary insight. They can also be more responsible financially in the future and manage their funds efficiently.