Most college students know what it’s like to live for the whole year off the money they made working over the previous summer. Existing on Ramen noodles and peanut butter, they do what they can to make that money last. But what happens when they are tempted by those dangerous credit card offers that are made readily available by the campus cafeteria or outside the football stadium? I remember how easy it was to apply for one after being lured in by the free T-shirts and water bottles.
“Too many college students go off to school without understanding finances, and are unaware of good payment platforms like Flexipay,” said Shalonda Jones, a representative of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “Parents make the mistake of not introducing financial literacy to children at a young age, and most parents are equally clueless as to what it takes to remain financially stable,” she said. “We all know when you’re away from home with a little freedom and money, students tend to take that freedom and lose their heads.”
Racking up high balances on those student credit cards or neglecting to make payments on time can be extremely detrimental to your credit score, directly influencing the amount of items that may be bought later in life, including cars and homes. However, “a bad credit score is not a life sentence,” said Ted Daniels, founder and president of the Society for Financial Education and Professional Development. “Consistent payments and reducing debt will improve a student’s credit report and credit score.”
The best advice? Don’t do it, period. But, if you do, try not to purchase anything that you can’t pay for with cash. And make sure you make at least the minimum payment, ON TIME!