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Credit cards and plastic money are often sides tracked for luring their customers on the path of debt, overspending, and negligible savings, but that's not always the case. If used responsibly, owning one can prove to be an enriching experience.
Globally, most countries in Europe and the United States have the added perks of offering a student credit card for university and college undergrads who do not have the financial means and the required credit score to own a standard credit card.
These cards usually come with lower credit limits and withdrawals, higher APR’s, and offer little rewards, if any. None the less, it provides the right opportunity for students to manage their finances and build a good credit history for the future.
Limited Options for Third World Country Students
Coming to the options available in Pakistan, the industry here is frowned upon by many Pakistani households and local retailers, which has further diminished the banking sector’s confidence to provide credit card facilities to our youth, in general.
Nevertheless, a few banks are working towards normalizing credit card acquisition, even for people with lower incomes. One such credit card is the Easy Credit card provided by The Standard Chartered bank. It is specially designed for lower-income groups and students.
The Easy Credit Card by Standard Chartered
The Easy credit card is relatively easy to sign up for. Their approval rate is higher than any other bank in Pakistan. The credit card is widely accepted at up to 50,000 retailers locally and globally as well. You can use it to pay for some much needed retail therapy, air tickets, and hotel bookings and in the entertainment and leisure category.
A significant advantage of using this card is that it comes with a checkbook and ATM facility. You can use your card to withdraw up to 90% of your current credit limit in cash. You can also pay the same through paying with a cheque on the go. This facility is especially beneficial for students paying their tuition fees. Other than that, monthly hostel/rentals, as the card allows a slightly higher cash withdrawal limit compared to most.
This credit card also comes with the lowest APR and a virtually 0% APR on designated items. You can browse through the SCB catalog. With the Asaan Installment plan, you can purchase products and convert your outstanding credit dues into easy installment plans at your ease.
A Few Setbacks
Coming to a few setbacks, the Easy credit card does not offer any cashback or reward program to its users. There is a 3% user fee that you have to pay each month for using the card. To be eligible, you need to earn from 25,000 PKR and 70,000 PKR if you are self-employed.
As mentioned, acquiring credit cards for students and lower-salaried groups is still emerging in Pakistan. The banking sector should establish confidence in the youth sector and provide more sustainable options for facilitating them.
Simultaneously, Pakistan’s dependency culture should be discouraged. Students should be able to generate a decent income to support themselves. They can do this by freelancing, ventures, or by working part-time. Only then can this considerable gap of confidence be breached.