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Credit Card Debt Becoming a Norm in College Years

Credit card debt is becoming a serious problem for college students. A south Florida university has recognized this growing problem and has taken steps to help its students avoid unnecessary debt. Student loan debt and credit card debthave become the norm in covering the cost of college expenses for many students.

Students use credit cards for food, gas, lodging, and tuition and books. While student loans can cover the cost of much of the expenses related to tuition, some students do not qualify for this type of funding; therefore, credit cards are used to cover those expenses. Many students are nontraditional, some married with children or perhaps starting college at a later age. Nontraditional students do not always qualify for the same grants and scholarships as traditional college students, causing many of these students to go into debt in order to take care of themselves and their families while getting a higher education.

College is often considered a time of struggling to make ends meet while pursuing an education. Many parents can no longer afford to send their children to college as the economy struggles to bounce back from a lackluster few years. Those that do not receive ‘full ride’ scholarships may have no other option than to take out student loans or apply for credit cards in order to fund the education they know will help them in today’s difficult job market.

Given this trend toward credit card debt, the University of South Florida felt compelled to offer financial counseling to students. Many students didn’t even know how to create a budget. The counselors will help monitor the student’s finances. Counselors will be alerted if a student begins to rapidly acquire debt, therefore prompting the counselors to intervene. Of course, counselors are not able to resolve every individual circumstance, and professional help is available should it become apparent that an individual’s debt load has become too difficult to manage.

Source: 1011now.com, “Moms Everyday Minute: Avoid Debt In College,” Melanie Bloom, July 1, 2013

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