Credit cards ‘charge’ students into debt during holidays

By Abigail Keefe
December 8, 2005

Shane Evans

Credit card debt is a huge issue among students, and with the Christmas season coming up, many students will begin charging Christmas presents.

The little plastic card is deadly with people who love to live larger than life. Many students live under the impression that they will live how they want to and spend exorbitant amounts of money. When they get a job, it will be easy to pay everything back. This is not always the smartest route to take.

Lower-than-expected salaries, plus higher-than-expected living expenses and hefty student loan payments make handling credit card debt all the more difficult for students. If one is not wise with the credit card, they can spend years paying it off.

Now that the holidays are just around the corner, everyone is out spending money, and more often than not, people tend to use their credit cards.

Joan Frankowski, a sophomore elementary education major, is one student who is smart when it comes to shopping. She claims that she will probably use both credit cards and cash when shopping.

“I am buying for nine people. I will probably be spending around $20 to $30 on my friends and my family members,” Frankowski said.

Frankowski has been a credit card owner for a little over a year now, and even though she does have money saved up from her summer job as a cashier at ShopRite, she does tend to use plastic over paper when the mood suits her. She said, “I do not use my credit card to splurge, and I use it only when I run out of money. However, I will always ask my parents ahead of time whether I should use my credit or debit card.”

For winter break, Frankowski also plans to get a job to help pay off the payments she made on her card. She gets her responsibility for money by watching her parents. Her parents are not credit card holders because they fear debt, but they taught Frankowski the importance of good money management.

Amanda Breen, a sophomore elementary education major, is just as responsible as Frankowski, and yet she does not see the sense of owning a credit card. Breen said, “I’m not afraid of debt, but I don’t see any reason to use a credit card if I don’t have the money to back it up with, especially since I’m not working, I would rather just use the money I have.”

When it comes to holiday shopping, Breen has 12 people she is buying for. With money saved up from her summer job at a daycare, she plans on placing a limit on how much she spends on each person.

Breen gets her smart shopping techniques from her parents, even though they are credit card users. “They just use them when they need to. They would rather just use cash,” she said.

“I think it is pointless to go and rack up your credit cards when you don’t have the money. I think people need to learn how to set limits,” Breen said.

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Abigail Keefe

Abigail Keefe is a Cabrini College student studying communications, enjoying her time in Radnor, Pennsylvania. Abbie loves working for the school newspaper, the Loquitur, and is also passionate about everything that the communication field has to offer.

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