Tips for College Students – Credit Cards, Debit Cards and Other Bills

As a student just starting out on your financial life, it’s important to learn about credit. Using a credit card or a debit card (the credit function attached to an ATM card) can be a good way to establish a positive credit history that will be a benefit throughout life.  In addition, you’ll find that a credit card can be very valuable in case of emergency.  Under new federal laws, if you are under 21 years of age and want a credit card you must demonstrate income, savings or have a co-signer to obtain a card.  Parents, teach your children about revolving credit and interest rates. They can be onerous if the student just charges away and overspends. A poor credit score could hamper your ability to buy a car, rent an apartment, own a home – – or even get a job. If you receive a card, it’s very important that you check your statements carefully and report any discrepancies within 60 days to your card company to give you maximum protection against fraudulent activities.  Be sure to pay all of your bills on time and remember that cell phone bills and others can run up very fast. Save all statements and receipts and review the statements thoroughly each month to be sure all charges are yours.  Remember that you probably did not budget for paying credit card debt each month.

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The Massachusetts Bankers Association represents approximately 190 commercial,
savings and co-operative banks and savings and loan institutions located in Massachusetts and
elsewhere in New England.

Massachusetts Bankers Association, Inc.
One Washington Mall, 8th Floor
Boston, MA  02108
Tel: 617-523-7595 / Fax: 617-523-6373

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