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 College credit cards can mean one of two things: good or bad. It’s that simple. In college, there are many, many expenses involved with living, classes, books, trips, social life, clothes, and the list goes on. For people with their parents footing the bill, college is easy . . . financially. However, for students that have to pay their way through, the easy answer may be college credit cards. The good in this is that college credit cards establish a secure financial foundation for unplanned fees or emergencies. If the emergency is capable of draining their savings, chances are it will leave the student in financial ruin. College credit cards can help avoid this, and the student is capable of paying it off on a monthly basis.

Some students are not as responsible as this, however. For these students it is very tempting to run up a bill on their college credit cards on the simple basis that they will “pay it off” after college. By that time they will have paid hundreds of dollars in interest and fees for items they more than likely could have lived without. Living without these luxuries is all part of the learning experience in college, and if maxing out a credit card makes you live better, then think again. Chances are is that a college credit card is your first credit card. By not paying off the monthly balance, you are only hurting your already nonexistent credit score. By the time you get out of school and prepare yourself for the real world and a new car, your credit will have been ruined and getting a good deal will be nearly impossible.

The only clear winners with college credit cards are the financial institutions themselves by luring students in with enticing low rates and interests and the students who are financially responsible and pay off their balances. Chances are these students will come out on top after college and win at the game of getting better financing on stuff such as cars and houses. For these students, college credit cards are smart.

This Financial Services article was written by Colby Almond on 3/23/2010