Reconsider signing up for a credit card


Allaysia Varnado – Special to the Southern News 

Today, credit cards and debit cards are more popularly used over cash. Whereas debit cards are merely just a card that allows the holder to control how much he/she spends, a credit card is very different. Usually with a credit card, if the applicant is approved, the credit card company issues the card with a credit limit, that can’t be exceeded which can range from $500 to $1500.

That money can be used whenever and wherever with the card holder responsible for making monthly payments to the card company to slowly bring their debt back down. If in any case the applicant is not approved for a credit card, there are credit card companies out there that will ask for a security deposit first before issuing a credit card.

Which brings me to the question: Is it a good idea to get a credit card? Depending on the person, having a credit card can either be a great back up in times of emergency and also build credit history. But, for some, it could be a heavy burden to bear whilst being in college.

After speaking with a few Southern Connecticut State University students, I was able to get an idea of how students feel about having credit cards. Alexa Villa, a sophomore at Southern has a credit card, she says, “I use for online shopping and for emergencies.”

The reason she got a credit card was because she felt she needed on just in case, however she suggests that students don’t take on the responsibility of being a credit card holder unless they have a steady income and are able to make payments every month.

Carla Cordal, also a sophomore at Southern does not have a credit card. She says, “I do have a debit card” and that that’s enough “until I’m financially secure.”

Cindy Medeira a sophomore at Southern has a debit card as well. She says that, “Credit cards are dangerous for college students, but if I had one I’d use it responsibly for car payments, school, and books.”

The majority of the students interviewed had the same reactions, credit cards are dangerous, but to only those who are not responsible enough to handle being a card holder.

An article by Bill Fay, a writer from debt.org gives students some great advice on acquiring a credit card. The article is titled, “Understanding the dangers and benefits of credit cards,” he said, “On one side, there are positives: They are convenient, it’s safer than carrying cash, you’re covered in an emergency, you have a record of all your purchases, if you pay off the balance every month, they help you build a good credit score. And on the other, there are negatives: They are too convenient, it’s hard to remember how much you spend until you receive a bill at the end of the month and they  can damage your credit score if you don’t pay them off every month.”

In the right hands, credit cards can be a life saver in instances where you need to keep up with bills such as tuition, car payments, oh and food. What can we do to make students think before getting credit cards? Students must be responsible at all times, asking themselves simple questions whenever they reach for the plastic, 1) Can I wait until I have cash? 2) How much credit have I already used? And 3) is it worth it?

Photo Credit: Kaiyan

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