We’ve all heard about offers from credit card companies which seem to be a great deal and in the end, you fall into the credit card trap which ruins your credit history for a long time. As young as 18 years old, a college student falls to a credit card trap. Credit card companies have been marketing to college students. So what are the do’s and don’ts a college student should know when thinking of having a credit card?
You’ve probably heard of “easy credit” or freebies trap. Beware of it!
• Gotta have this freebie!
How much do you think a free t-shirt would cost? You’d probably end up paying more when you agree to the card’s terms. How about missing a payment or late payment, it would cost you more than what the freebie has offered. Companies know how busy students are and it’s so easy to miss a payment.
Ask yourself first.
• Do I really need it?
If you are able to pay with cash or check, then you don’t need it. Credit card is only good for emergency purposes and for buying necessities online.
• Where will I use it for?
Never finance your education through a credit card. If you want to buy something without spending cash, think about it, you still have to pay it on your own pocket eventually plus interest.
• How should I pay for the bill?
Good if you’re able to pay the monthly balance, the card works for you. But if you are only able to pay the minimum, it would take you years to pay the whole balance even if you stop using the card.
Use your card wisely.
Pay the balance monthly and pay on time. If it’s hard to do that, make sure you pay more than the minimum every month. Remember not to exceed your card limit, it would charge you additional fees. And make sure to have email alerts when you are managing your card online to be aware of your payment due.
Get help if you are in a credit card trouble.
Don’t hesitate to get help from your family members or contact consumer counseling agency.