This is very important to have your first credit card as soon as you are in college. I don’t suggest you to rack up your credit card the moment you received it. In fact, this is a very good tool to build up your credit history. If you are reading this post whiling looking into applying for the first credit card or looking in ways to reduce your spending. I will suggest you to take out a credit card with the lowest credit limit available. Many credit card companies offer credit limit as low as $500.
I applied for my credit card at the age of 19 with $500 credit limit. I needed to put money in my bank and store it as GIC before they granted me my first credit card. I still own that card almost 10 years later, and I love it so much. I have taken my original $500 out as my credit has built up, but I intended to have the credit limit remain at $500.
As my first credit card, I love to keep the credit limit very low. Any larger purchase would need help from using my parent’s card, and I would need to pay them back (sometimes even pay them in advance). Hence it creates a second thinking moment to determine if the purchase is necessary. This process helps me to understand the credit card system so much better without losing control. I like to emphasize that it take time to build up one’s spending habits.
Why I still keep this card with credit limit at $500
10 years later, I have several credit cards that carry thousands dollar of credit limit, and I no longer need to seek help from anyone because of my lower credit limits. In fact, this is still the only one card I carry with me all the time, because it keeps me sane (literally) every time I want to do a crazy shopping day. Normally I would keep my other cards at home unless I need to make a purchase greater than $500 (such as travel or car insurance).
If you feel like you have been losing control on your spending lately and don’t know what the best way to change your habits is. I will urge you to reduce one of your credit cards to $500 or the lowest you feel comfortable with, and only carry that card with you. Keep that in mind you can always pay the balance off during the middle of the billing cycle, if you are reach the top of the limit, but It stops your debt from piling up.