The college student and the credit card

By on December 6, 2006

When college students get a credit card for the first time it opens them up to a whole new world: a world of ultimate spending.

A credit card allows students to have what may appear to be an unlimited supply of money. Although receiving a credit card is extremely rewarding, it also has its downfalls.

A credit card makes spending money a lot easier, but at the same time it becomes harder to budget and manage the amount of money you being spent. Freshman Elisha Randall explained her difficulties in budgeting money.

“Owning a credit card makes it so easy to spend money that it can easily get out of control,” she said. “Taking out money becomes so simple and convenient that people lose track of how much money they are actually spending.”

Students often crave the freedom a credit card can provide. But is it too much freedom?

“Having a credit card makes me want to use it all the time,” said freshman Jennifer Tait. “I end up going crazy with it and I forget that I eventually have to pay off this bill. Having the freedom is good, but it is really easy to take advantage of.”

With all of this freedom it is easy for some students to spend money they simply don’t have. It is easy to forget that a credit card is not free money, and that it eventually must come out of their pockets.

“Most people who just receive a credit card will spend too much money and they will eventually fall into debt,” said freshman Gabrielle Purchon.

Credit cards come with an extreme amount of responsibility and it is no easy task to take uphold. Although a credit card is a lot of work, it also provides faster and more convenient service.

In addition to building credit, receiving a credit card may also allow students to learn about responsibility and money management first hand.

Randall and freshman Daniel Conforti both agree that learning about responsibility is one of the positive things that comes along with owning a credit card.

“Credit cards provide students with a good opportunity to learn exactly what responsibility means,” Conforti said. Randall agrees that “students learn the responsibility of managing money by owning a credit card.”

Not only do credit cards educate teens, they also provide them with a certain kind of security. Tait believes that credit cards make people feel safe knowing that they always have money on them or that mondy will readily available in an emergency.

“Having a credit card gives me security, which I like,” she said. “If I ever need a ride back to campus and I missed the shuttle, I am able to get back home and I don’t need to feel stranded.”

Students can also begin to develop a better sense of the banking system by becoming educated about paying bills, learning about credit and about how loans work. Freshman Jackie Moran said that having a credit card has been helpful to her.

“I have learned that by paying my bill on time I can develop excellent credit and be able to receive better loans,” she said.

Credit cards have the potential to give college students a great deal of freedom But the success of owning one depends on how they manage that freedom.


About Kelly Hughes