According to Nellie Mae, college students  will amass almost $20K+ in student loan debt.  76% of Undergrad students have credit cards; the average undergrad has $2200.00 in credit card debt. Hello!! Many of them do not have jobs!

Parents!  Please educate your children to AVOID accumulating credit card debt that will more than likely become your responsibility or the results could be that bad credit will be one of your undergraduate’s first introduction to the real world adult experiences.  Advise them to say no to the gifts (stuffed animals, t-shirts and caps) that the credit card companies use as a sales tactic for completing an application.  As a college student, it is natural to want build credit; however, make smart healthy financial decisions.  Some experts suggest that the highest priorities should be a low APR, use the credit card to make purchases, pay bills, accumulate points, and eventually build your credit and maintain solid creditworthiness.

For the record, credit cards are not the enemy; the misuse of credit cards will ruin an individual’s credit history.  For example, repaying the debt on time consist of 34% of your beacon score; imagine the drastic decrease for derogatory payments.  While I agree that building credit is important given the manner in which we as consumers are viewed by creditors.  I disagree with the advice of paying bills and accumulating points as being primary reasons for using a credit card to build a credit profile.

My view is that if you must have a credit card; a share secured visa is one of the best options for college students seeking to build credit or anyone re-building credit.  By securing the visa limit with your own funds, the possibility of getting a better interest rate is great.  The highest priority should be to strive to live debt free and pay cash for everything. Contact your credit union or bank for detailed information.

Your comments are welcome and encouraged.  E-mail me at christineroebuck@livemylivedebtfree.com

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