Tufts gets tough; outlaws ‘sexiling’

By Maria McDonald
October 15, 2009

President Obama has discussed keeping credit cards out of the hands of students unless their parents can co-sign for them or until the student is financially stable. Great, just what we need: more kids riding the backs of mommy and daddy for money.

I’ve worked my way through community college and used a credit card to help me to pay for my books and for the gas I needed to get to school. I then used the money I’d saved at the end of the month to make my payment. I was helping my financial future by learning responsibility with plastic while in school as well as the important goal of building credit.

Building credit is extremely important for students because soon they will graduate and need to put in an application for an apartment (which requires a good credit score), purchase a car (good credit score needed), or even get a mortgage (you can get by on good looks- not! Good credit is necessary.) Some employers even check your credit score when you apply for a job to see if you are a responsible individual.

When students have credit cards they are able to build their future themselves, without having to check in with their mom and dad. This is very important because students will not be students forever and will soon be living alone in the great, wide world.

If parents co-sign for a card I see no problem, as long as the student keeps up and does not depend on their parent to make their payments for them. This of course is up to the student to be accountable.

I understand the political world is completely out of touch with reality and does not understand that all students do not have a million-dollar family name to fall back on.

Sometimes students need to rely on themselves to build credit and start their future. Keeping that away from them and in the hands of parents, or even the government, is a huge disservice. It will only spawn a generation of young adults who are financially irresponsible.

Credit card companies should also show care for their student clients by not extending their credit limit until they have been proved worthy. It is very tempting to overspend, and in an ideal world companies would not tantalize a nascent college student who is looking to pay for everything through credit in order to earn a good score.

To get a high credit rating, one must have a good credit to debt ratio. This means you should not charge more than you can pay off monthly and also not carry a high balance. What businesses and employers are looking for is someone who doesn’t charge up to the maximum.

The best way for students to keep up with their credit cards is to maintain a low balance and pay more than their minimum as best they can. Applying for a student version of a credit card is best because these carry lower interest rates.

The government’s only place in a student’s life should be in the college loan department. We need more ways to pay, not less. Students should be able to grow up and take control- without the parents purse strings attached.

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Maria McDonald

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