When asked about credit card debt, most college students just roll their eyes. They say things like “I’ll have enough of that to last me a life time” or “I’ll ignore that until later.”
College students are constantly reminded of the debt they are in due to loans but say that they trust themselves to pay it off in the future. How many college students actually trust themselves with credit cards though?
There are all types of credit cards and when it comes to signing up for one, it is very easy. Credit cards are one thing that most Americans have and plenty of Americans regret having because of the failure to pay these bills. Most credit card debts, and bad habits, occur while a student is in college.
Trevor Williams, a 19 year-old sophomore, has two credit cards. He currently uses them four times a week and pays a monthly bill of $600. He currently works at TGIFriday and doesn’t receive help from his family paying his bills because he wants that sense of independence.
Williams pays for his bills on his own and can budget his money wisely while being a college student. He frequently uses his money for food, his phone bill and clothing stores such as American Eagle and Forever 21 for men.
Though Williams shops frequently, he believes that the national debt crisis doesn’t affect the way he spends his money as long as he still has a job at the end of the day. He says that he knows how to control himself with his monthly bill and he pays it in full at the end of the month, which he says helps build his credit.
“The national debt is a government problem,” said Williams. “It is not a personal problem so it doesn’t affect me as much as people would think.” Williams is currently holding an 800 on his credit score out of 850.
While Williams may be able to control himself and pay for his bills on time, other college students simply can’t have the responsibility of a credit card or others just don’t think it is a good idea.
Deanna Hussey, a 19 year-old sophomore, thinks it isn’t the best idea for a college student to have a credit card because it is a huge temptation. Hussey doesn’t possess a credit card at the moment, but she said she might find it helpful in the future, she says. She said that she just recently dealt with identity theft with her debit card so she doesn’t think it would be a good choice to open up multiple financial accounts.
“It is smarter for students to start with a debit card and learn how to budget their money,” said Hussey.
Thought Hussey doesn’t have a credit card at the moment, she said for the future when she is ready for a credit card, she wants to hold a good credit score. There are always cases where one can’t have a good credit score because of a failure to pay bills or a billing mistake that leads to a death in their credit score.
Taylor Conteras, a 19 year-old sophomore, was willing to speak of his very poor credit. He said he has only one credit card and for the past year he has been trying to pay it off.
Believe it or not, Conteras has only made two transactions on his discover credit card and one of these transactions was a huge mistake, which lead him to a credit score of 550.
Conteras and his mother accidentally put the payment of his loans for school on his credit card, which effected his credit poorly. Even though most college students have student loans, Conteras made a mistake for putting this huge loan on a credit card, which he still is struggling to pay off. He isn’t only struggling to pay off the loan, but the credit card fees themselves.
“Once I get a job, my poor credit is fixable,” said Conteras “but right now I am a struggling college student with horrible credit and it sucks.”
As of 2010, college debt actually surpassed credit card debt, but that total still stood at a whopping $825 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. According to a 2009 survey by Sallie Mae, college students graduate with an average of $4,100 in credit card debt on top of student loans. The Credit Card Act of 2009 has made credit cards less available to college students by requiring a cosigner for students under age 21.