Today’s college student cannot function without their Mac, iPod, Android… and their plastic of choice. In fact it’s the plastic credit card that is often financing these essential student purchases. And let’s face it- the last thing on these bright, young adult’s minds, who are getting their first taste freedom, is maintaining a clean credit history.
When one considers that your first line of credit marks the beginning of your personal credit history and ultimately dictates your credit score, it is hard to believe that many credit card companies actually market directly to these youngsters, hoping they will default, pay the minimum balance (which means they are mostly paying finance charges each month and not putting much toward their balance,) or transfer their debt to cards that ding them with high interest or finance fees. These kids are literally being set up to take on the difficult task of credit report repair in the future.
Clearly, learning financial responsibility, the basics of finance and the importance of maintaining and implementing tools to improve your credit score should be part of each student’s core classes. Until it is, students should be encouraged to take a personal finance course, budget wisely and use their credit card minimally.