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Educate college students on responsible credit card use

This time of year many recent high school graduates are preparing to head off to their first year college. This endeavor will present a student with lots of new challenges both academic and otherwise. While students are well prepared to meet some of those challenges, others could benefit from some guidance. One of those areas may be how to use a credit card.

Readers may be thinking that using a credit card is easy. And it’s true, it is--perhaps too easy. Accordingly, it is a good idea for parents to be a part of securing that card and educating their children about when and on what it should be used. Students who create good habits in college will establish good credit which will benefit them later on in life.

There are several routes that a parent might go to help their child secure a credit card. While some will opt to add their child as an authorized user on their own account, others will co-sign on an account. In other cases students may be able to secure a credit card geared specifically toward those who are in college. Others will go with a secured card which requires a cash deposit.

Whatever the type of credit card secured, parents should take the time to educate their children on good practices. In addition to talking about the importance of paying a bill on time, a young person should also be taught about the benefits of keeping a balance low. Besides being easier to pay off, keeping debt below the 20 percent mark of the credit extended to them, will contribute to a good credit score.

When a young person, or an individual of any age for that matter, finds that he or she is overwhelmed with debt, they may have options. Sitting down with a bankruptcy lawyer is generally a good place to start.

Source: Fox Business, “Getting Your Student a Credit Card,” Jeanine Skowronski, Aug. 19, 2014

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