Why Students Shouldn’t Sign Up To Store Cards

One minute you’re laughing with the sales assistant about how many shoes you’ve bought. The next, you’re walking out the store with a shiny new bit of plastic that you didn’t plan to get. Noooooooooooo!

Students are such easy targets when it comes to store cards. You’re told about the amazing 30% discount you’ll get off your purchase if you sign up and future freebies and deals, plus you won’t even have to pay for it in full till x amount of days. Sounds pretty cool, right?


Store cards are basically like credit cards. They can only be used from the store you signed up at. They let shoppers buy things on credit and they can pay it off in monthly instalments.

A lot of people use store cards and it’s all good. However, for the newbie student who’s already struggling to feed themselves it’s a big no-no! Unless you’re a student with zero money problems (they exist!), read on.


Terms and conditions aren’t made clear

Usually when you apply for a store card at the till you’re not given a proper explanation of the terms and conditions. The sales assistant will skim through some points, hand you a brochure and send you on your way. At the end of the day, any major financial decision need proper thought and with store cards you don’t have that opportunity. Think twice!


You can end up paying more

Store cards usually come with high interest rates which result in you paying way more for your shopping. Even though you’re given more time to pay, you’re still spending more.

What’s the point? Unless you can pay it off straight away, it really has no benefit.


They can damage your credit rating

You’re probably well aware of what a credit check is by now and how important it is. It affects everything from your mobile phone contract to how much student overdraft you’re allowed.

If you take a store card out and fail to keep up with repayments, it can have a really negative affect on your credit rating. To be clear: this isn’t a good thing. Also, when you apply for the store card, the store does a credit check then and there. This itself can affect your credit rating.


More junk mail

The number of letters and emails you’ll get about new offers and to recommend a friend for more discount is huge. You probably already get enough junk mail as it is; you’ll be fed up by the first week!

When you’ve got a steady job and money worries are far away, knock yourself out and get however many store cards you want! But as a student it’s definitely best to stay away from them. You need to be in complete control of your financial situation, not going on credit-fuelled spending sprees in Topshop.


Haleema Khokhar. also known as Kimi (a college nickname that stayed). is a journalism graduate working in the world of marketing and freelance writing. She loves animals, dance and a strong cup of tea. Check out her website and Twitter at @MyImpression_ you can also check out her personal Twitter at @KimiKhokhar

Inspiring Interns is an internship and graduate jobs agency.