First Credit Card
Hi everyone, Background: I'm an almost-20-year-old university student living in Ontario, Canada. Despite how that sounds, I have surprisingly little debt - I've finished 2 years of school, and only owe about $6500 in OSAP, which is a special loan in Ontario for post-secondary school, that doesn't accumulate interest until you graduate. I have about $4000 to my name, plus RESPs and a job. My parents/the RESP pay my rent, the aforementioned OSAP pays my tuition, so I'm only responsible for groceries, utilities, textbooks, and whatever else I choose to buy. So my financial situation is quite comfortable right now. I'm looking to get my first credit card. I have one right now, but the account is joint with my mother - like the numbers on the cards are exactly the same, but mine obviously has my name on it. I like the security of a credit card - knowing that should something disastrous happen, I can get myself out of the situation and worry about paying it later. I don't ever plan on carrying a balance on it, I just want to use it and then pay it off immediately to work towards beefing up my credit score. So, a couple of questions: Is the joint card with my mom helping my credit score at all? She would be the "main" person on the account, if such a thing even exists. Do I need to carry a balance on the card for it to help my credit score? Or does paying everything off immediately still influence it? What sort of cards are student-friendly? I tried applying online for another with the same company as the one I have, and was rejected... probably because I don't have a full-time income and such. Is there some sort of "complete n00b's guide to credit cards" site I can check out? Something that explains things in plain English and doesn't overwhelm with fancy financial terms? What's a "good" interest rate right now? I don't plan on carrying a balance, but you never know what life will throw at you. Any other advice? Do you think I'd have better luck if I went to a bank and applied in person, rather than applying online? Thanks in advance everyone!