How to Eliminate College-Caused Credit Card Debt for Good
I learned a lot in college. But the most important school-related lesson came after graduation. I finally figured out how to free myself from the credit card debt I racked up during those four years.
College was where I first honed my bad money habits. And apparently, it's where many others do the same. See, colleges are enablers when it comes to credit. How? By allowing banks to sneakily position themselves on campus - often during sporting events or other celebrations - to recruit students to sign up for credit cards. Just check out this article in the New York Times. I can verify it happens because this is exactly how I signed up for one of my first credit cards sophomore year.
Common sense would have schools discourage credit. After all, if students are drowning in debt, how are they going to afford to pay tuition? But as it turns out, banks give schools a big, fat financial incentive. The more students who sign up for cards, the more profits the college gets. Sometimes, the schools actually get paid to turn over a list of student names.
And it seems to be working.
The average senior has $2,600 in credit card debt at graduation, not to mention about $20,000 in student loans. Not exactly an inspiring way to start your post-graduation life. Once you factor in the trials and tribulations of the real world - landing that first job, moving up the corporate ladder, finding a place to live, etc. - it only gets harder. If you're anything like me, that original debt begins to snowball.
The bigger your balance, the more interest you owe. The more interest you owe, the less of your paycheck you have left for other necessities like the mortgage. With less cash available, you're forced to continue relying on credit. It's the classic vicious cycle.
Fortunately, there's a way to break that cycle. When you reduce your debt, you free up more money for your other bills -your mortgage, car payment, gas and groceries.
So how do you do it? Your best bet may be bankruptcy. On top of an affordable way to pay off your balance, filing for bankruptcy also gives you legal protection from creditors. No more harassing phone calls, no lawsuits and no threat of foreclosure. Just a straight path to financial independence. Find out more about bankruptcy for free when you sign up for a complimentary, no-obligation personal debt analysis with a DebtStoppers attorney in Atlanta or Chicago.
Everyone makes financial mistakes. The most important thing I learned from college is that it's never too late to fix them.