Students are valuable customers for credit card companies, as they tend to stay loyal to their first card and continue to make purchases with it for many years, despite having loans and not having jobs in many cases. In order to not fall into debt traps, students should avoid using the credit card barring emergencies. They should be aware of the after effects of using a credit card which would help them keep track of money in a better way.
Students should be aware of the fact that credit cards geared towards students often come with high interest rates and many unfavorable terms. This is largely due to high default rates among students than among other age groups. Another reason for the high rates is that students usually have limited credit histories. A point to note for the students is that the credit card should not be considered as a source of income. Even though students have good intentions of paying off their bills in a timely manner after they enter the workforce, such intentions are never realized. Most often, students lack money managing skills which hit them hard when they use their cards to the maximum limit.
Some of the credit cards issuers do not require parental approval for issuing credit cards to students. This leads to further mismanagement of money by the students as they are given access to a credit card with pretty high credit limits, which they assume to be their money and spend on various things. Instead, the use of cash is advisable, whenever possible. Debit cards are good alternatives for college students. They allow retailers to deduct the money from the purchaser’s bank account immediately. They work at ATMs too, if the student requires cash.
Thus, try not to take up a credit card in the first place, and if you do take one, try to clear the bills within the payment due date. Because, if you don’t, you could be fighting your way out of debt longer than getting your way through school.