Advantages of Living Alone in University

wood chair with white wall in background

One of the most important considerations for your university career is solidifying your accommodations. There are a variety of different options available, but our two part article looks at the option of living alone in university and the viability, advantages, and disadvantages of this approach.

Living Alone in University as a Legitimate Option

In comparison to your other alternatives, such as living with roommates or staying in residence, living alone in university is a legitimate choice, if not the most popular. Considering the option of living alone is a matter of looking at the costs involved, the specific personal advantages and disadvantages, and evaluating exactly what’s involved. Some students prefer the solitude, while others live by themselves out of necessity either because they can’t find a roommate or because their chosen accommodations are only suitable for one person.

The Advantages of Living Alone in University

While individual situations will certainly vary, there are a number of advantages to living alone in university that some students may find attractive. For one, you don’t have to worry about stepping on your roommates’ toes over mess, noise, or particularly destructive parties. Because you are the only one living in your place, you are in total control over what happens, who comes over, and what goes where.

Living alone also offers greater flexibility than living with roommates because you can be as picky as you want to be when it comes to picking your accommodations. If you want to live in a specific location or in a particular kind of apartment, you have the final word, since you don’t have to deal with the opinions of anybody but yourself. You also avoid the arguments and tension that can come along with choosing who gets what room, who buys what pieces of furniture, who pays what utilities, and other common disagreements.

For the more introverted student, living alone gives you more control over what level of social interaction you have based on what you feel most comfortable with. If you like to hang out with friends less frequently than most other people, you won’t feel pressured to go out any more often than you want to. You can also invite people over whenever you want to without having to tiptoe around your roommates or deal with any of their friends if you don’t feel like it. This shouldn’t be construed as a way to escape social interaction altogether (since social life is an integral part of university) but more the ability to have a greater degree of control over your social life and when and where you choose to socialize.

Studying also becomes easier when living alone (at least in theory), as there likely won’t be any unwanted noise, or at least a lot less. Having a house full of roommates on wildly different exam schedules can cause unnecessary fights or cacophonies of shushing while everyone tries to study while the rest try to decompress after their own tough exams and assignments.

Living Alone in University Continued

Next week, on part two of our living alone in university discussion, we will explore the various downsides to a solitary living arrangement in university and come to a general conclusion on the practise.

Taking Out a Credit Card

credit card

Taking out a credit card can be an essential step in handling unexpected expenses or as a way to incorporate large purchases into a budget with capital not immediately available.

The Benefits of Taking out a Credit Card

Credit cards are beneficial for students who want to their pay tuition as a lump sum, often have limited income, and who are budgeting (often for the first time) for day-to-day expenses. Credit cards are also beneficial for students in helping them establish a positive credit rating prior to seeking approval on larger amounts of credit after graduation, like a mortgage or car loan. However, taking out a credit card can have an adverse effect if used irresponsibly, which is a realistic concern for young, and sometimes inexperienced, first time debtors.

Taking out a Student Credit Card

Lending institutions have identified that students often have limited income and no credit history – two major contributing factors for determining potential borrowers’ credit worthiness. As a result, major banks and credit unions have specific student credit cards with lower interest rates, student-specific reward programs, and lower credit limits. The credit limit is the maximum amount that can be borrowed and student credit card credit limits between $50 and $1000 are not uncharacteristic. This is enough for school supplies and recreation, but despite the fact that many students feel a new sports car is an essential part of the student experience, it restricts the borrower from purchasing large luxury items. Taking out a credit card can build a student’s credit history while also providing them with a convenient source of credit.

Who is Eligible for a Credit Card?

The age of majority in your region determines the age at which you are eligible for taking out a credit card. However, it is possible to take out a credit card earlier if you have a cosigner. The burden of repayment falls to the cosigner in the event that the borrower defaults on their payments, which is why students often ask their parents or family to take on that responsibility. It is important to resist the urge to recreate a ‘90’s shopping montage because your cosigner is responsible if you’re unable to successfully manage your outstanding credit.

 How Do I take out a Credit Card?

Lending institutions offer similar student credit cards in an effort to stay competitive, so the borrower should identify the type of rewards program that best suits their needs. For example, a student studying far from home may want to use a credit card with travel benefits, whereas a student making their daily purchases on a credit card may prefer cash back. Taking out a credit card with your current banking institution can help streamline the credit management process. All of the options are advertised online including specific card prints, like your favorite team, for those who wish to stand out. Fill out the online application or make a trip to the local branch of a lending institution and if they find you worthy of credit, the card should be in the mail.

Tips After Taking out a Credit Card

Once your credit card is in hand and activated, there are some basic guidelines to ensure future financial success:

1) Only purchase things that you are sure you can afford: Ensure that you have the capital available at the time of purchase, or that you know where the money will be coming from before you decide to charge the credit card. Student credit cards often have no annual fee so there is no pressure to use it if you don’t have to.

2) Pay off your full balance each month: rather than making the minimum payment on the due date, pay off the full balance beforehand to avoid paying interest.

3) Only use your credit card at reputable institutions and websites: Schemes to access your personal information evolve almost as quickly as the security measures designed to guard against them, so monitor your account for suspicious activity. Although the lender insures your account, dealing with the fallout can add to the already stressful and hectic student lifestyle.


Taking out a Credit Card: Conclusion

A credit card can be a very useful tool to form earning card benefits, build a credit rating, and to defer payment if used responsibly in conjunction with a budget. Taking out a credit card is a simple process, especially with a trusted cosigner, but it is important to understand that the cosigner is also assuming the risk of defaulted payments. Responsible use of a credit card includes charging only what you can afford, avoiding interest, and active account monitoring and management. Taking out a credit card is a fundamental step to building and establishing positive credit worthiness for future financial undertakings.