Credit cards are dangerous for everyone, but are especially dangerous for college students who are lured by freebies to sign up on their campus. The Illinois CPA Society has provided some tips on how to use credit cards responsibly.
Legislation recently signed into law by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn aims to protect college students from being enticed by credit cards, yet its important students take personal responsibility to avoid getting into trouble.
Some helpful tips include:
Shop around and compare terms. Check out the differences in the Annual Percentage Rate (APR), grace period, annual fees, transaction fees, over-the-limit charges, penalties and rewards to determine which card is best for you.
Read the fine print. Starting with the credit card application, always read the fine print on any mail or material from the credit card company. Look for any mention of possible changes in the rate or terms.
Always pay your monthly balance in full. Pay your bill in full each month and not just the minimum amount due to avoid costly finance charges. Pay on time to avoid late fees.
Protect your credit card. Never share your credit card or your credit card number, no matter how well you think you know somebody. Dont give the number out over the phone if you didnt originate the call and never share it online (including email or instant messages) or enter it on public computers in a library or classroom. Keep the card in a safe, secure place when not using it.
Click here for more credit card advice from the Illinois CPA Society.