Help Your Students Avoid the Holiday Credit Card
Establishing and maintaining a good credit history is an essential life skill, and many students will begin to establish that credit history by using credit cards. But one holiday season of poor credit card choices — and poor management of that credit card debt — could affect your students’ credit ratings for years to come.
  • If you don't have the cash, don't buy it. It doesn't make sense to charge a sale item with your credit card, only to have to pay it back at 21 percent interest.
  • Beware of discounts that some department stores are offering when you open an instant credit card account. Don't be tempted. Just say no.
  • Stop using your credit cards. When your balance spills over into next month, you should put away your cards.
  • Make an effort to pay off the entire balance each month. Replace revolving credit cards with a card that requires you to pay off the entire balance each month.
  • Don’t permit an increase in your credit limit on your card.
  • Some credit card companies offer "teaser" interest rates. The rates are very low initially, but after six months, you pay high interest rates on any unpaid balance. Be wary of such "deals." Always read your credit card statement carefully.
  • When all else fails, cancel your credit cards.

USA Funds Life Skills is a Web-based program that equips schools to help students develop basic life management skills, so they graduate on time and with a minimum amount of debt.

For help enhancing or implementing a financial literacy program at your school — including information about incorporating USA Funds Life Skills into your student success efforts — register for a USA Funds webcast Wednesday, Dec. 5. That free webcast will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

Contact your USA Funds representative for more information about USA Funds Life Skills or any of USA Funds’ other debt management and default prevention tools and solutions. The USA Funds Life Skills information page offers case studies and a USA Funds Life Skills Best Practices Guide, which highlight the ways schools are using the program on their campuses.​