It can be difficult for anyone with more bills than income to avoid incurring credit card debt. For college students, the temptation to simply charge expenses can start a trend whereby they see credit card debt as a reasonable (and even expected) aspect of modern living. Yet a few pragmatic Michigan college students are voicing opinions that show the real-world woes of spending more than you earn are affecting the way young people are handling their dollars.
For a recent article from Central Michigan University, a number of co-eds were interviewed about their money management skills. Namely, they were asked to talk about how they feel about using credit cards. Their collective responses were somewhat startling at a time when the country in which they live is itself "in the red": They were concerned about owing money to creditors that they could not readily pay off.
Because of their concerns, many state that they are making sure they either use credit cards very selectively, or not at all. Numerous respondents favor debit cards because the money is taken right out of their accounts. Some have gone back to the old-fashioned way of avoiding being underwater financially by monitoring spending through the primary use of paper money (rather than plastic.)
While the Michigan students are to be applauded for their foresight, they are not representative of all college students -- or the general population -- of the United States. Reportedly, around one in four university grads leave school with at least $5,000 in credit card debt. For young people just entering a workforce with high unemployment and underemployment, owing that much could be the start of financial problems that may best be dealt with responsibly through legal means.
Source: cm-life.com, Balancing Act, Adrian Hedden, Sept. 6, 2013