When you are a student, the main problem is that you will not have a credit history. In order to get a loan or credit card you need a credit record or credit history. Only when you have such a record can you get anything from a bank. Even getting a student loan requires that you have a credit record and for this it is always better to have someone co-signed for you.
You will also find that it is problematic to rent an apartment or get a cell phone. This is the reason why you need to build a credit record. You can build a good credit history by making regular payments diligently.
In order to build a credit history, you need to get a credit card. In order to get a credit card, you will first have to have a bank account. You will also require a social security number or SSN. Once you open a bank account, you need to let it stay open for quite some time in order to be able to qualify for a credit card. When you apply for a credit card, make sure you do so with a bank that is sure to give you one. The more credit cards you apply for, and the more rejections you get, your credit history will be affected negatively.
Start out by comparing various offers that are on the market. Many cards are available that do not require a minimum balance. The thing with these cards is that you need to deposit a certain amount in the bank and you will get a withdrawal limit equal to that amount. Obviously there will be a minimum deposit requirement. And once you start purchasing items with the card and making regular payments, your credit history will start getting recorded. The longer your credit record is the better your financial future will be.
Apply for cards that have a lot of reward programs associated with it. You can also use the card to pay your tuition and when the time comes to pay it off, you can use the money from your loan. This way, you can build your reward points and also the credit record.