Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Students: Use your credit cards wisely

It's a thrill to get your first credit card. In some ways it signals your entry into becoming a responsible adult, but use those credit cards wisely.

Credit isn't the same as cash. Just because you have an available credit balance doesn't mean you should go out and spend it. It's easy to run up a pretty significant bill. Buy a few text books, go out to lunch a couple times, maybe take a friend to a night club and then there's that new pair of shoes you've had your eye on. Before you know it you've spent several hundred dollars.

Don't think that if you can make the monthly minimum payment you're doing just fine. With the hefty interest charges you can end up paying double what those pair of shoes cost you. Try to pay off every month what you've charged on the card. The exception would be to divide the tuition and text books by the length of the semester and pay that amount off each month in addition to what you've charged for the month. For example if books and tuition are $1200 a semester and the semester lasts 4 months, pay $300 per month on top of what you've charged that month.

Use your credit cards wisely and you'll earn an A+ in financial management.

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