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Are You Cruising For A Credit Card Crash?

By Will from Holland

How many credit cards do you have right now?
It was a lot of fun using them at first, wasn't it? Free money!

Trouble is, the companies start sending you bills and actually expect you to pay them.

A lot of students have trouble making those payments, unfortunately, and for the majority of those students, their credit, their peace of mind, and even their college education are sabotaged by those pesky monthly bills.

Most students don't know they are in credit card trouble until they are really in trouble—at the point where the double-digit penalty charges start hitting, and the threats start coming from the card companies.

Where are you right now on the credit card crash scale?

  • Do you make only minimum payments on any of your credit cards?
  • Do you sometimes skip a payment?
  • Do you pay late consistently because you're short on cash?
  • Do you ever use one card to pay another card's bill?

Answer yes to one question, and you're already in a fender bender. But if you answered yes to all of them, you are in a major crash right now. Here's a plan to soften the blow.

  1. Don't ignore the problem.
    Closing your eyes doesn't avoid a crash, it just makes the moment of impact scarier.
  2. Look at your cash flow.
    If you're not paying your bills on time because you've been partying a lot, cut out the party scene. Pull back all your discretionary spending until you're able to pay at least 25 percent more than your minimum payment each month on every credit card. Only suckers make minimum payments.
  3. Get debt counseling right now if your tightest budget doesn't allow you to pay all of your bills on time.
    Head to the Bursar's Office, Financial Aid or to the credit union office and ask to see a counselor. Any can help you work to organize your debt and deal with your debtors.

Credit card debt ruins hundreds of students' lives each year. Don't be one of those students.