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Tips To Avoid College Student Credit Card Debt

Jan 21, 2008
The credit card game can be a dangerous one especially if you don't know how to use your credit card properly. If you're like a majority of the Americans in the United States, chances are that you carry a credit card. The sad thing about all these consumers that have a credit card is that they are carrying excess credit card debt that is beyond belief.

Like anything in life, a lot of things can be avoided, especially if you read tips ahead of time. Preventing things such as college student credit card debt can benefit not only your financial future but your stress level and can prevent future extra hours working only to work off your interest.

Start low - don't go over your head

When you first start off in the credit card game, don't get too excited and start applying for fifty credit cards because you can. Not only will this hurt your credit card score, it's going to open you to a higher amount of credit. A higher amount of credit can lead to a lot of problems. Studies have found that if a student maxes out one credit card, chances are that he/she will continue to the next until they have maxed out their credit completely. To avoid this, just apply for one credit card and stick to a low limit.

Stick to a low limit

Chances are when you apply for your first credit card; you're going to get a fairly low credit limit. This credit limit should be around the five hundred to two thousand dollar mark. Make sure that the credit card companies keep this limit low while you're going to school. You may find that your credit card limit will rise when you pay your bill of in time, etc. Once again, you'll want to keep it low because during college chances are you're not working a high paying job and nor can you afford a variety of things during college.

Be smart - treat like cash

When you're holding that piece of plastic in your hand, it's hard to think it's actually your money. This is a big reason why a lot of students get into debt. They will swipe their card not thinking twice that in thirty days, they are going to get a bill. If you think you're going to have trouble with something like this, make sure that you try out a debit card first. This way, the money is directly taken out of your checking account. Once you get the feel of how one works, you can switch to a credit card and hopefully be more financially responsible.

The tip list could go on for miles but these tips are the important ones that you should remember. It's important to keep a low limit, treat your credit card like cash, and generally, don't spend more than what you can afford each month. In a general rule of thumb, you shouldn't spend more than twenty to thirty percent of your monthly income on leisure items. If you're beyond this number, you better re-check your budget. If you believe you can follow these guidelines, then your future path is very bright.
About the Author
Tom Tessin runs FINDcollegecards.com that focuses on student credit cards that focus on a low credit limit.
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