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Credit Cards and College Students

credit cards and college students

It’s seen as normal to carry debt in society today -- everyone has debt, especially credit card debt. But what about credit cards and college students? Are young adults ready to handle the burden of credit card debt? A recent study reports that one in four college students leaves with more than $5,000 in debt,  and one in 10 leaves with over $10,000 in debt. That’s a lot of debt to handle right out of college! Here are some reasons why credit cards could be dangerous for college students.

Credit Cards and College Students


College students are a target for lenders:

Lenders will often hook in college students with attractive rates, because they are seen as excellent prospects for a long time. They have a long credit life ahead of them, which means lots of years of interest payments that benefit the credit card companies.

Lenders are also aware that students may not be able to pay off the debt after they finish studying. Therefore, once those low introductory rates that were so attractive to the student ends, the interest rates can be increased. The result is the student becomes a long-term paying customer, which benefits the lender, but not the student.

College provides many opportunities and temptations to spend money

One of the reasons why credit cards and college students are a dangerous combination is there are so many reasons for students to spend money. For some students, college is considered the last opportunity to have fun without responsibilities holding you back. This can result in a lot of extra opportunities to spend and have fun so that students feel they are making the most of their experience.

The danger is that many students are not be working, and even the ones that do are usually part-time due to their studies. This makes credit cards an attractive option for the student who wants to “seize the day” without thinking through the long-term consequences of acquiring debt at a young age.

Students may fail to consider the consequences of their spending

It’s easy to spend money in college, but unfortunately, the ability to spend with self-control and respect for money typically come a bit later in life. For some students, having a credit card can feel like having free money, but once that debt begins it can be hard to get out of it, especially if the interest rates increase. Students may not learn this lesson until they have already run up a sizable debt that will impact them long after their college years are over.

Students can learn to use credit responsibly

While credit cards and college students can be dangerous combination, that’s not the end of the story. Students can easily learn to use credit cards responsibly. Credit cards can be powerful tools for college students. By using the right credit card responsibly, students can graduate with zero debt and a great credit score that will help establish them on solid footing for the future.

The college years are all about learning lessons, and many of the important pieces of knowledge students will accumulate over their career won’t come from the classroom. With a little bit of knowledge and care, the lessons they learn about credit and debt can be positive lessons instead of lessons that will harm their financial future.

The team at CESI is committed to helping you make wise financial decisions and to helping you understand how to get out, and stay out of debt.  For a free debt analysis, contact us and find out how we can help.



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