You probably can’t handle money well. Face it, most of us can’t.
Statistics support these statements. Upon graduation, the average college student leaves with a balance of $2,200 on credit cards, according to college creditcounseling.com. Add that to the average student loan debt of $12,000.
With the Christmas season just around the corner, there’s even more danger for the average college student. After all, it will be easier to pay off those presents in January, right? Wrong.
We come to college fooled into thinking we can handle our finances. Some find out quickly they can’t, but most won’t accept defeat.
Credit card offers come in, dozens per semester, and students rip out the card, confirm the number and begin spending. They can always pay it off later.
Receiving an unpleasant card statement in the mail will put a damper on your college career. A University of Minnesota study reported that two-thirds of students treated for depression had built credit card debt of at least $2,000.
Credit card companies do not care about your finances. They wrack their brains finding new ways to give you, a student with no credit history, a card with a low credit limit and a high interest rate.
They give you T-shirts, airline miles and maybe even a card with a picture of your college on it.
After pushing previous generations into debt, they’ve relaxed their standards and allowed students with no credit history to get cards.
Students believe they need to build credit history and can only do that with a credit card. Or they believe they cannot get a hotel room or order concert tickets without a card.
Build credit history by putting phone or utility accounts in your name and pay the bills on time. To order concert tickets online or book a hotel room, get a check card with your checking account. You harness the same purchasing power, and it withdraws the tab from your bank account.
If caught with no money in an emergency, most banks offer overdraft protection up to $500 dollars you can use to cover emergencies like car trouble.
Most students should not get credit cards. You cannot handle the payments on limited income and often ruin the life you work for in college.