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Use Credit Cards Responsibly

If you decide to get a credit card, make sure you use it responsibly. These tips should help.

  • Limit the number of cards you have.
  • Don't apply for the wrong reasons. Free gifts or discounts for signing up aren't worth the problems that go with a card you can't afford.
  • Always pay the monthly balance in full before the due date to avoid interest charges. (If you can't manage the full payment, at least pay more than the minimum due.)
  • Be aware of how much you owe so you don't accidentally overspend.
  • Review your statement each month to be sure it's correct.
  • Keep track of your card and store it in a safe place. Don't share your account number with anyone.
  • Contact your credit card company with questions regarding your account. Make sure they have your current address and phone number.
  • If you can't control your spending, stop using your credit cards and get help from the student counseling center. Signs of credit card abuse include using it to pay for:
    • Basic living expenses.
    • A lifestyle you can't afford.

Learn more about credit card use in Credit Matters (PDF), a booklet from ICAN.

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