ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) – The coronavirus pandemic has forced many Americans to make tough decisions as overdue bills pile up,
This could be a troubling time for college students as many leave home and manage their finances alone for the first time.
Nathan Grant, Senior Credit Industry Analyst with Credit Card Insider says college students need to watch what they spend especially during times like these.
“Avoid making any purchases that are unnecessary during the pandemic so every dollar can stop you from feeling the economic impact of a crisis like this,” Grant said.
Grant says you should have savings for at least three months worth of expense and monitor your bill balances. He says one of the worst things you can do is overuse a credit card.
“Keep all of your balances paid down in full,” he said. “Your credit utilization is the amount of credit being used so the lower that is, the better.”
Grant says college could be the prime opportunity for students establish credit. He says secure credit cards are a good route for those without credit history.
“A secure credit card requires a refundable security deposit that funds the card upon your approval,” he said.
The secure card uses the money used for the deposit for purchases to prevent someone from overspending. Another option is becoming an authorize user on someone’s account, but that carries it’s own risk. If the account holder doesn’t pay their bill, it can negatively impact your score.
Grant says the golden rule is making sure all of your balances are paid in full.
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