What Happens to My Student Credit Card When I Graduate?

Life after college graduation can be challenging, especially when it comes to money. While your student loans and bank account may come with clear instructions on what to do once you leave campus, what happens to your student credit card? Here’s everything you need to know.

1. Can I Keep a Student Credit Card After I Graduate?

Probably. Many lenders allow graduates to keep the same cards they had while they were in school, complete with perks, points and cash back — check with your provider. Whatever you do, be careful about canceling your card when you leave school without exploring your options, because doing so may have a negative impact on your credit score, according to creditcards.com1.

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2. Can I Get a Lower Interest Rate Now?

Even if you aren’t required to upgrade your student credit card, it’s often smart to do so once you have a verifiable income. One reason is lower interest rates. In 2012, 17 percent of students surveyed say the interest rate on their student credit card increased within the past year, according to creditcards.com.2 If you have a higher income and good credit, you may qualify for a lower interest rate.

3. Will I Qualify for a Higher Limit When I Graduate?

Student cards usually come with lower credit limits to reflect the higher risk students with no income or low income pose to credit card companies.

When you graduate, call your credit card company to update your income details and credit information. Include your address and living arrangements, such as rental payments or even mortgage payments. Updating all this information may result in a credit line increase, because your ability to pay increases with a higher income. You can also usually do this online or within your mobile app.

4. What Happens to My Reward Points?

If you’ve been enjoying rewards points as a perk of your student credit card, and aren’t ready to redeem them, you may be able to transfer them directly to a new credit card, so call your company to see if they offer this service. However, you may not need to transfer rewards at all — it may be possible to keep them until you’re ready to redeem them. For example, with the Discover it Chrome for Students card, rewards Cashback never expire, and you can redeem them to your account or use them at Amazon.com. And if you don’t use your Discover it Chrome card for 18 months, or if it’s closed, your account will simply be credited with your Cashback Bonus Rewards.

5. Communicate With Your Credit Card Provider

Your credit card company may help you figure out the best credit card options for you after graduation, whether this means upgrading your student card to a similar or completely different card or keeping your student card. And remember, using a credit card responsibly as a student and a graduate may help build your credit profile as you transition into the next phase of your life.

Sources

1. creditcards.com

2. http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-industry-facts-personal-debt-statistics-1276.php#source%2014

Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.

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