2% of undergrads had no credit history

In college you will most likely end up leaving with some sort of student loans after getting your degree. Some students will have accumulated more debt than others and there will be the lucky few who leave without having ever filed for some sort of loan. For those of you who are not so lucky, welcome to the world of debt. You join the millions of other college students in debt. You are not alone. But there are two types of students in debt. The first type of college attendants are the students who only have student loan debt. The other type is the students who not only have student loan debt but also credit debt.

Credit debt is prominent with college students because many students do not work while taking courses, so to pay for necessary items students rely on credit cards to make it through the years. Here are some random credit card facts from credit cards.com regarding college students.
According to Fanny Mae’s article, “How Undergraduate Students Use Credit Cards”:

  1. The average age at which a U.S. consumer under the age of 35 first adopted a credit card is 20.8 years. The average age of credit card adoption for a consumer over the age of 65 is 40.6 years.
  2. Eighty-four percent of the student population overall have credit cards, an increase of approximately 11 percent since the fall of 2004.
  3. Only 2 percent of undergraduates had no credit history.
  4. Half of college undergraduates had four or more credit cards in 2008. That's up from 43 percent in 2004 and just 32 percent in 2000.
  5. 76 percent of undergraduates have credit cards, and the average undergrad has $2,200 in credit card debt. Additionally, they will amass almost $20,000 in student debt.

Too Much to Pay Off

Now imagine four years of student loans as well as four years of piled on credit debt? Not only will you have to pay student loans off monthly but add on at least another $100 or more for the monthly credit card bill. It will become almost unbearable, especially while you are trying to search for a full time job after graduation. While you are sending out resumes for your future careers you will have to work part time just to pay your monthly bills. Just because you have graduated does not mean that you are guaranteed a full time position post graduation.

Picture this scenario. You graduate college and take those final steps on the campus lawn. You are officially welcomed to the real world. As you enjoy the summer of graduation, the six month period that your student loans allow you to find a full time position have come and gone and you receive your first bill. (Just for the point of the story let us say the monthly payment is $117.00 per month). Now add on your other monthly expenses such as gas, food, clothing, car insurance, and maybe even rent. That adds up to be a pretty penny without including the fact that you may or may not have college credit debt. But it would be nice to eliminate credit debt altogether but not having opened a credit card in college. There is enough personal responsibility when entering college, so why add the pressure of a credit card. Use cash whenever possible. Working part time during college could help avoid credit debit even if it is a small position on campus. Create a budget for yourself on the weekly paycheck and spend no more than you actually have in your hand. Eliminating credit debt can save you from stressful situations after graduating college.

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