Credit card debt among students has become a serious problem, and unless properly tackled, it may ruin their academic and professional careers. Another rising problem is student loan debt.
Tackling student credit card debt
Students are supposed to concentrate on their studies, and not spend sleepless nights worrying over how to repay their credit card debt. But a large number of students are so overburdened with credit card debt that they can hardly pay any attention to their books. Depending on the severity of the situation, credit card debt has several implications for a student.
Credit card debt implications for a student
If the amount of credit card debt crosses the limit a student can afford, he/she is likely to face serious consequences. Some even drop out of college to work full-time so that they can pay their credit card bills. If they manage to continue their studies, but find their credit rating affected due to debt, they will face problems if they want to rent an apartment, afford insurance and even secure a job that could have helped them to repay their debt. The mental stress caused by the student debt burden may also hit their relationships. Psychologically, such a stress may cause depression, and even lead to suicide in some cases. The problem became more acute when credit card companies began to target the vulnerable student community and in the process, dropped the co-signing requirement with parents and also raised credit limits.
What parents can do
To avoid the dangers associated with credit card debt, parents of a student can follow the following tips. They should insist on co-signing a credit card when a child attains enough maturity to understand personal finances. Discussions with the child about the details of the credit card are also of great help in identifying suspect areas. It is important to review monthly expenses on a regular basis. The child should be told what finance charges could be applied if the balance is not paid in full and on time. The parents of a student should understand that he/she will be flooded with tempting offers from credit card companies. So it is their duty to give the child a realistic, healthy perspective of money and material goods so that he/she can make right decisions when the time comes. This will help prevent student debt.
What a student should do
A student should keep an eye on the interest as it plays a major part in credit card debt. He/she should keep records of all credit cards including the interest rates, fees, balances, due dates and purchases. A student can get rid of credit card debt if he/she stops charging and pays more than the minimum amount required. The student should also create and use a personal spending budget to keep track of charges. If he/she has more than one credit debt, it is better to repay the debt carrying the highest interest rate first, and then proceed to pay off the others.
Even universities and colleges play a key role in the rise in student credit card debt. Some of them invite credit card companies onto campus because they too get revenue. Recently, however, some of them have realized the gravity of the situation and put curbs on the activities of credit card issuers on campuses.