8 Tips for College Students Wanting to Apply for a Credit Card

High school life is over. You've moved away from home and you're starting a brand new chapter in your life with college. Independence feels great, but it's sure to feel greater if you've got your own credit card, don't you think?

Here's what you can do to make the credit card application process as hassle-free as possible.

1. Prepare proof of identification. Have your photos ready as well as all your valid IDs. Credit card companies will always have to verify that you are indeed who you say you are before you can proceed any further. IDs where your age is stated are also preferred because you have to prove you're at least 18 years old as well. If you have any bills under your name, take them with you as well because they can serve as proof of residence.

2. Prepare proof of schooling. Credit card companies generally prefer to issue credit cards to students who belong to accredited colleges and universities. If you belong to such a school then you're in luck. If not, you can compensate it by showing your previous records - if they're excellent, that is. Just like when you're applying for a driver's license, issuers also take academic and extra-curricular excellence as a sign of maturity and trustworthiness in your part.

3. Prepare proof of financial assets. Student credit cards tend to charge higher rates than usual, but you might be qualified for lower rates if you're already working or you have money and a bank account in your name. Either way, make sure you can submit documentary proof of your work or assets.

4. Speaking of interest rates, the first thing you should look for in a credit card is the lowest possible interest rates. This might mean not being able to enjoy a reward-based credit card, but at your age, you might not yet afford the higher rates charged by credit cards offering reward points. If you see a 0% APR credit card, make sure to check how long the offer would last and what the standard APR is afterwards.

5. A number of credit cards allows you to apply even without a cosigner, but some of them tend to have stricter application requirements. If you don't want to go through the trouble of submitting additional requirements, simply ask your parent or legal guardian to act as your guarantor when you apply.

6. Always look for a credit card that allows you to manage your account online. This will allow you to check your account balance regularly and know when and how much you have to pay for your credit card every month.

7. There are a few additional perks that you might deem necessary. If you are fond of shopping online, look for a credit card that offers you fraud liability guarantee at no extra cost. Other credit cards offer you "thank you" points for being a prompt payer.

8. Now that you know what you need from a credit card, find one that matches your preferences and then submit your application. Remember to be courteous and answer all their questions honestly. You're sure to have your application approved in no time. Have fun with responsible swiping!