Using Credit Cards Wisely: Tips For College Students

credit-cardWhen it comes to your personal finances, it is important that you stay informed - especially when you are new to the game. Before anything else, you need to make sure you know your financial , and understand that credit cards are not "free money."Just as you need to pay back your student loans (with interest) you also have the financial obligation of paying off your credit card (also with interest).

Here are a few tips to master credit cards as a student:

1. Start with one credit card. In your first few years of using a credit card, you don't want to be worried about juggling multiple credit cards at once. Start small, and as you establish credit and a groove for repaying your credit card, you then can consider adding credit cards.

 2. Make a habit of paying off your credit card balance as soon as it shows up in your account. I know this may be a hard rule to follow at times, but if you can go month to month and not carry a balance on your credit card, your credit score won’t be damaged by the time you graduate.

If you are not able to pay off the card completely, make sure you are still making your monthly payments, and pay off more than the minimum if you can. Showing this kind of responsibility and keeping your balance far away from your credit limit will keep you from completely ruining your credit score.

3. Always remember - credit cards are not free money. This tip holds true for credit card users at any age. You never want to spend more than you make. As a student, if you are borrowing money through student loans, keep a tight track on your expenditures and at all costs, attempt to spend within your means.

About the Author: Amy Young is a writer on various consumer finance topics for websites such as Credit Cards for No Credit.

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