What Happens To A Student Credit Card When You Graduate? 

By Bruce Boswell •  Updated: 12/14/21 •  6 min read
Filed under: Credit Cards

College is considered to be one of the most important times in a person’s life, as it marks a new beginning in your academic career and is often a place associated with some of your first experiences.

From your first beer pong tournament to your first serious relationship, college can provide you with everything you need to prepare yourself for life beyond education. 

What Happens To A Student Credit Card When You Graduate

These days, it is common for students to open their first credit card before starting their freshman year so that they can build their credit score over the following 3-4 years. And while this can be extremely beneficial during your time at college, it is important to remember that education doesn’t last forever. 

So what happens to your student credit card after you graduate? And what do you do with it once you have found a solid career?

In the following article, we have collected some important information concerning student credit cards and the procedures you will need to follow after you have graduated. 

So if you want to know more about your student credit card and its functions, then you have come to the right place… 

What Happens To A Student Credit Card When You Graduate? 

Student credit cards are very similar to any other unsecured card, except the rewards that come with them are decidedly more student-friendly, with some issuers even working in conjunction with companies such as Amazon.

However, these rewards are usually fewer than those offered with standard accounts, as student credit cards are known to yield lower credit limits and higher APRs. 

So what happens to your student credit card after you graduate? Well, the usual procedure will see your credit card remaining active after you have left college, although your issuer may choose to alter your account to reflect your graduate status. 

In most cases, your credit card issuer will usually reclassify your account to a non-student version, which can sometimes result in the issuing of a new card.

However, this does also mean that any benefits that came with your student account could change or be revoked, as you are no longer considered a college student. 

Fortunately, most credit card companies will also offer non-student accounts, which means you can contact your issuer to make the swap. Even though it is common practice for the company to automatically make the change once you have graduated. 

If your student credit card has been issued by a smaller company, then they may not have the option of upgrading your account. However, this does not mean that your card will be rendered unusable, as you should be able to continue using it without any issue. 

What Happens When You Close Your Student Credit Card? 

Once you have graduated from college, you may want to close your student credit card to reflect your new status, even though closing your account can lead to more problems than solutions. In fact, the only reason why you should consider closing your student account is because of an annual fee, which is rarely assigned to student credit cards. 

Of course, the main reason to open a student credit card is to build up your credit score during your time at college, which can accumulate over the intervening 4 years.

This means that if you close your account after graduating, then you could risk severely reducing your credit score, as you will have closed the oldest card on your record. 

If you hardly use your student credit card after graduation, then we recommend using it to pay for low recurring expenses, such as your Netflix or Spotify subscription. All you have to do is set up a recurring payment with your issuer and you can continue using your student account while still maintaining your credit score. 

What Happens When You Upgrade Your Student Card? 

If your student credit card was originally issued by a major credit card company, then you should be able to upgrade your card to a non-student plan, which can offer different rewards and features.

Of course, having a good credit score can also make you eligible for a better plan, so it is important to secure your score before making the upgrade. 

However, this does not mean that upgrading your student credit card will not come with its setbacks, as the upgrading process could take away promotional sign-up bonuses or 0% APR periods.

This is because you are not applying for a new line of credit and instead are upgrading the credit you already have. 

Because of this, you can only take advantage of new and unique offers by applying for a new credit card, as this will open a new line of credit connected with your name. 

What Happens When You Ask For A Credit Limit Increase? 

If you want to continue using your student credit card after you have graduated, then it is possible to ask for a credit limit increase, which will allow you more flexibility to pay with your credit card and earn rewards.

However, this is not an option that should be taken lightly, as you will need to have built up a small emergency fund before making the application. 

When you first leave college, it doesn’t take long before your expenses begin to build up, especially when you have found your first apartment and are starting to pay off your student loans.

For this reason, you should prioritize saving your money before making the credit limit increase, as this method will often yield the best results. 

In most cases, following this practice will allow you to pay off your monthly balance and spend money comfortably while using your credit card for everyday expenses. 

Final Thoughts 

Saying goodbye to college life may sound like a terrifying notion, however, this does not mean that you also have to say goodbye to your student credit card. While opening your first credit card in college can help you to secure your credit history, it is still possible to continue that positive streak once you have graduated. 

Maintaining your student account can have a positive impact on your credit score, even if the card has been upgraded to a non-student plan. So we recommend that you keep hold of your credit card even when you are no longer a student. 

Bruce BoswellBruce Boswell

Bruce Boswell

Bruce Boswell enjoys researching and writing about all things related to investing and saving money. Whenever he has a chance, Bruce loves travelling all around the world with his wife and trying new foods.