By Maria Kimble, Contributing Writer
Many things in today’s society revolve around credit scores, whether it is leasing a car or renting a house, most places require a credit check. Building your credit before you graduate college is a smart move, so you can be prepared for adult life. March 21 is National Credit Card Reduction Day. This day not only reminds us that credit card usage is not only prominent, but that it also is something that should be taken seriously.
Credit card companies look at young college students as a clean slate of credit considering that they are no debt at this point in their lives. Companies try to reel you in with high dollar limits and low interest rates. If you’re not careful, your credit card can get out of control and suddenly you are in debt.
If your payments are getting out of control, make a goal to pay a few extra dollars a month on your credit card. If you are only able to pay the minimum amount each month, it will take longer to pay off your balance. By paying extra each month, you will hack down your balance faster ensuring a good credit score.
Charges add up faster than you realize, so give your plastic a rest. If you have the cash, spend the green instead. In the long run, that is where your money will be going anyway. By using cash, you will know exactly how much you can spend. When you are only using credit cards, overspending is easy because you can’t see the limit of your credit line. If your payment was a little higher than usual than last month, try to rely more on cash this time around. Even if you do not use your credit card, just having one helps your credit go up without even using it.
“When picking out the right credit card for me, I found one with a low spending limit so I can keep my payments under control easier,” said Junior, Mercedes Butcher.
Like Mercedes, we should all look into our options for the right credit card. Credit card companies will do anything to keep clients from going to the competing company. Take advantage of this opportunity to ask as many questions as you need to when speaking with credit card companies.
In the end, you can become more responsible with your spending if you are knowledgeable about your credit card. Once your balance is paid off, the best thing to do is to make a goal to pay the full amount due each month. Having credit card debt is stressful and a big burden for college students. By keeping your financial freedom you can live your life with ease and splurge once in awhile without the added guilt.