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Responsible credit card use for students

College students are increasing their credit card debt as the average student has about $2,500 in debt. Once students graduate, they struggle to pay back that money. They believe they can easily find a job when they finish school, but that may not be the case. A combination of factors, such as low salaries, costly living expenses and student loans, mean that the repayment of credit card debt can be put on the back burner.

Someone who only makes the minimum payments on a $1,000 loan with an 18 percent rate will take more than a decade to pay off the bill. While parents may be tempted to sign for their child to receive a credit card, this can add mounting debt to their own finances.

Students should consider the benefits and disadvantages of credit cards. Students who make a delinquent payment may pay costly late fees as a result. While credit cards can help people establish credit toward buying a car or home, they need to use those cards responsibly. Failure to practice financial responsibility can result in credit card debt, which may impact the immediate availability of cash as well affect the ability to obtain future student loans.

Statistics also show that more than half of college students pay off their credit cards each month. However, others do not know how to manage money and need to learn these skills before attending college.

Students should know the dangers of overspending before attending college. Accruing too much debt on credit cards can mean that a college student will need to file bankruptcy. A bankruptcy attorney can advise students of their options.

Source:, "Credit card debt can harm college students," Gordon Putnam, Dec. 27, 2012

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