College and Credit Cards

What to know about credit cards before going off to college

1. Use your credit card for small purchases. Don't use it to buy big items unless it is an emergency.

Since you want to start off right and build a good credit history, you will want to make your payments on time. If you go and buy a new Television for $3,000 and don't have the money in your checking account then you could start to go into debt. Instead, if you just buy a new shirt that cost $20 then you would be able to pay off that item.

2. Do not share your credit card information with anyone!

This is like handing over cash. By sharing your PIN number or credit card number then people could easily make unauthorized purchases on your card.
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3. Know your credit card limit and do not go over.

If you go over your credit card limit then you will be hit with a huge fee. A hamburger that would originally cost $3, but you go over your credit limit then it could cost you $30. Keeping track of how much you are spending could help a lot in the long run.

4. You do not have to get a credit card because you are offered one.

You don't want to apply for a credit card just because you got one in the mail. All credit cards are different and have advantages and disadvantages. Do research on what credit card would best suit you.

5. You want to make sure you can afford a credit card.

Credit cards can cost a lot of money if you do not use it properly. Just by going to an ATM and getting cash can cost you money. Interest rates also make getting a credit card difficult to afford. The average interest rate for a credit card is about 15%.
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