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How to avoid college credit card debt

How to avoid college credit card debt

One of the biggest financial problems of many new college graduates is the amount of debt that they have to pay back.  While many of them assumed while they were in college that they would be able to make payments as soon as they got a job, the truth is that the costs of setting up a household and a professional life can eat up most of an entry-level salary.  For many former students, their debt consists of a combination of student loans and credit card debt.  Fortunately, credit card debt is something that can easily be avoided by following these rules.

Decide what you will use your credit for ahead of time.  

A credit card is a loan, but too many people don’t even think about what they charge on their cards.  Simply charging without a plan is a guaranteed way to end up with too much debt.  For example, if you need to use your card for books and supplies, then plan out the cost of these items and work the payments into your monthly budget.  Treat the card like any other loan; don’t take on debt without a plan to pay it back.

Avoid charging your living expenses.  

Ideally, every student would get a part-time job to pay for living expenses while they were in school.  With so many degrees requiring high class loads or internships, however, this isn’t always possible.  Keep your living expenses as low as possible throughout school, and you’ll be able to use the money you save during the less stressful times to pay for things when you just have too much classwork.

Pay cash for “extras”.  

Schools love to push everything from seasonal football tickets to special foreign travel programs.  Charging these items on a credit card, however, can cause your debt to skyrocket.  If you can’t pay cash for something that is not a necessity, don’t buy it.

Start debt counseling early.  

Too many students make the mistake of assuming that they’ll be able to pay their debts after graduation, then only turn to debt counseling when they can’t pay their bills.  By working with a counselor before graduation, however, a person will be able to come up with a plan than will allow them to know where their first paycheck is going before they even get it.  People who graduate with a debt management plan are much more likely to be successful at paying off their debt quickly.

    About Author: Debt Help Desk

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