In India, the credit card market is expanding in leaps and bounds. Every week some bank or the other comes out with a new credit card to tap in on this growing industry. There is a card available for every type of customer according to the specific lifestyle requirements of each customer segment. There are credit cards which cater specially to women, to professionals (eg: doctors), to travelers etc.
But, there is a segment of credit cards which is yet to be tapped by banks in India. Though popular in the west, the concept of student's credit cards is still to catch up here.
A student credit card is offered to students at college level (undergraduate or post graduate) and has student friendly features such as low interest rates, no income eligibility limit, no joining or annual fees, low cash limit etc. These cards have simpler joining formalities since there is no requirement of submitting employment forms or I.T. returns. The only forms to be submitted include proof of residence and proof of enrollment in an educational institute.
Students who are above the age of 18 years are eligible for student credit cards. These cards are normally valid for a period of 5 years.
How do banks furnish credit cards to students?
As said above, there are not many options of credit cards for students in India. But, some of the ways in which banks are trying to extend credit to students are as follows:
1. Credit cards against fixed deposits
Generally, students are required to open a fixed deposit with the bank from which they wish to avail the credit card. Then, this fixed deposit fund is used to apply for the card. The credit limit of these cards is fixed up to the amount in the deposit.
A great example of this is the SBI Advantage Plus Card, which allows a credit limit up to 85% of the deposit amount. It also extends very low interest rates of 1.99% per month.