Ways to Pay

Don’t Use a Credit Card

Don't Pay for College on a Credit Card

Credit cards can be a good way for parents and students to help manage money while in college and to handle emergencies. But if credit cards aren't used carefully, you can rack up credit card debt, often with a high rate of interest. This can lead to financial hardship - often causing students to drop out of college - leaving you with no college education and a mountain of debt.

Ten Ways to Manage Your Credit Card

  1. Before you apply, know the terms. Read the small print.

  2. Choose a card with no annual fee.

  3. Avoid cards that offer free merchandise — they usually come with a higher interest rate.

  4. Be wary of low "teaser" rates that may only apply for a few months and then a much higher rate kicks in.

  5. Look for hidden fees such as late fees, over-the-limit fees and cash advance fees.

  6. Beware of buying credit protection you don't need. Federal law already protects you if your card is lost or stolen and a thief runs up a balance.

  7. Don't play the credit card shuffle — using advances on one card to pay down another.

  8. Charge only what you can pay off at the end of the month.

  9. Make monthly payments on time.

  10. Always pay more than the minimum requested. Paying the minimum can result in paying two to three times more than the amount purchased.


These links can help you better understand credit, credit cards and the impact debt can have on your life:

 

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