1,100 college students die by suicide each year, at an average of three a day, representing 75 percent of young adults who do so. Also today’s college students are less likely to receive psychological help during these times. Even if someone is notified or has a suspicion of a student being unstable, information may not be passed quickly enough to the administrators or the police quickly enough to prevent a suicide. Suicide because of credit card debt created by college students is more than enough to overshadow any upcoming exam.
It isn’t necessarily credit cards in general either, but high interest credit cards coupled with student loans that hit students’ bank accounts the hardest and quickest, especially in today’s society of buy now and pay with interest later.
Another problem is the idea that a high paying or at least steady paying job is right around the corner, which isn’t always the case. With this mindset students graduate with a bright future ahead of them but end up hitting a wall of debt. Card debts can average anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 for students graduating in the last year.
The average undergraduate has $2,200 in credit card debt, according to Nellie Mae, the nation’s largest maker of student loans. The figure increases to $5,800 for graduate students after many purchases for college and the student lifestyle. Add late fees to all that and a student’s bright future can be dashed in an instant.
David Sandor, a vice president at Visa USA, says 54 percent of college students pay off their credit card balances every month. “Most tend to be responsible and use the card wisely,” Sandor states. “Some of them don’t and they’re getting into trouble. If a person makes it through 18 years of life without any financial wherewithal, it’s very difficult to change their behavior and that’s why it’s so important that parents speak to their children about money management.”
Bankrate.com has a few informational tips on surviving a credit card nightmare. They state that a college student should “Take time to establish a monthly budget”, but a problem that so many encounter is when their credit card company charges hidden fees, which can offset the idea of creating a monthly budget until you learn what charges apply, why and when. Once a person works all of this into their numbers they may establish the before mentioned budget.
The credit limit shown on a person’s statement is the maximum amount that the credit card company that issued your card will lend based on a person’s income and credit history. But this doesn’t always work out for college students who are bouncing between jobs, or living residences because those are two big factors in how they give credit ratings.
There are many cards specifically for college students that have a “manageable credit line” but in truth it’s only manageable to a point. Many cards also promise a zero percent Approved Credit Rate for a limited time. When the rate changes many students find themselves in debt from not being prepared to pay for everyday and college expenses coupled with a rising interest rate.
If a student were to have the right information they could easily avoid debt all together. Money management and credit card management are the keys. “People are not born with an innate ability to manage money,” Sandor says. “It’s a skill that has to be learned.” But as many students know they must learn it themselves.