As soon as a person turns eighteen, it all starts. They'll begin receiving applications through the mail. Credit cards have become a “normal” factor in growing up, despite the major problems they can cause. Having a credit card will make it tempting to use, especially if that person is a struggling college student trying to cover everyday expenses. Credit card companies target college students. Most college students say to themselves, “I think I'm responsible enough to handle a credit card, I will use it only for emergencies,” so they apply. It may take them a couple of tries to finally get approved for one; the wait only makes it worse. Once they receive the credit card, they can buy whatever they want! After all, they don't have to pay it off until the end of the month. It sounds like a good deal, right? Wrong. This essay will expose the truth behind credit cards and how college students are extremely vulnerable to falling into debt. It will also explain how students can afford college without risking going into debt by using credit cards.
To begin with, credit card companies target college students. There is a reason many credit card companies see marketing potential in young adults attention college. The companies often use promotional offers and free gifts to entice students on signing up for a credit card with their company. Brand loyalty is a logical explanation. The companies compete to be the first credit card that the student will own. By being their
first credit card, it's more likely that even when that student graduates from college, that person will be upgrading their credit cards with that same credit card company. Another reason college students are targets for credit cards is that students are big spenders. Credit card companies love customers who spend a lot using their credit cards. College students are also more prone to using credit cards for more than just their school necessities. They see something in a store or online and feel like they need it, when in reality they don't. These are impulse purchases. According to a survey given by Creditcards.com, “Eighty-four percent of poll respondents say they\'ve made an impulse purchase at some time, and 77 percent in the past three months.” Regardless of whether or not a student can afford to pay the bill, credit card companies are willing to take the risk. Companies profit from charging penalty fees and interest rates on their customers. Customers who fail to pay their bill will obviously have to pay more in the end. In the end, the credit card company is the one who benefits from students having credit cards.
Also, students will do almost everything to repay their credit card debts. As students get close to graduating and finding employment, the students who have fallen behind on credit card payments will still find a way to pay off their debts. Students get part-time jobs, borrow from their parents, or get student loans to help pay off credit card debts. Cleaning up unimpressive records from their credit report is key. Students want to boost their credit rating so that creditors and future employers may find them worthy enough for their approval. Not only do students often take out student loans to pay off credit card debts, students also use credit cards to pay off student loans. Just because it's possible to pay students loans with a credit card doesn't mean that you should. Credit cards have a much higher interest rates than students loans. According to studentloanhero.com, “Federal student loan interest rates are typically between around 4.00% to 7.00%, whereas credit card interest rates average around 15.00%.” If a student is having to fall back on credit cards as a way to pay their student loans, they're obviously having a difficult time financially. Once a student uses the card to make payments instead of cash, that student could get into credit card debt and student loan debt. That is not a good combination. Make no mistake, if a person moves student loan debt onto multiple credit cards and tries to discharge that debt in bankruptcy, it's very likely that they will face a lawsuit. For most, the thought of a court battle is enough reason not to try doing this.
Why worry about credit card debts if there are ways to prevent using them? To start with, there are tons of scholarships based on a number of qualifications. Before starting college, high schools usually have resources available to help students find scholarships they may qualify for. Another way a student can potentially save money during college years is by choosing a school that's better for their budget. The cost of college can vary a lot from school to school. Private schools are typically more expensive than public schools, and getting in-state tuition can save a lot. According to college.usatodya.com, “the average tuition cost for a public four-year in-state college is $8,655, while a private four-year on average costs $29,056.” Also, student employment is available to those who signed up for it on their FAFSA. Student employment is a very convenient and easy way to help fund college expenses. The program offers full-time and part-time job opportunities at thousands of schools throughout the country. A student can also get work experience in their particular area of study because the jobs offered may be in that area. Aside from working, there are grants. Grants are commonly reserved for those students who present a need for financial help. Some grants are only for certain groups of students. To receive a grant, the student must fill out the FAFSA. Taking college courses while still in high school is also a good option. This can be a great option for students who don't qualify for AP courses at their high school. It's an awesome way to get a jump-start on their education. By taking these courses in high school for free, it eliminates the cost of a semester of that same class as a college student. Last but not least, students can get part-time jobs off campus to help pay for college expenses. It's important to balance academics with working. A good way to find part-time jobs is to look at community websites and job boards. There are several ways to make extra money to go towards college. Just because credit cards are easy and convenient doesn't mean that they are the best option. Avoid credit cards at all cost!
All in all, credit cards are not the way to go, especially for college students. Credit cards can set you up for a financial disaster. Funding college with credit cards is very dangerous. Nerdwallet.inc says that people spend 12-18% more when using credit cards instead of cash. There are many ways to avoid using credit cards in college to help fund everyday expenses. Being responsible and having a plan is very important before starting college. Getting into debt isn't something anybody should want a part in, especially when just starting their lives as young adults. Get a head start financially in high school by saving money whenever possible to go towards college. Credit cards have become a “normal” factor in growing up, despite the major problems they can cause. Avoid credit cards at all cost, especially while attending college. Don't fret, stay out of debt!
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