College students – and recent graduates – are relying more on credit cards to pay for some of their expenses, which may make it difficult for them to get out of debt.
For example, a recent survey from Sallie Mae noted that the average amount of credit card debt for graduating seniors in 2008 was $4,100. That’s up from the $2,900 average seen in 2004, which was the last time the firm took its survey.
As debt increases, young people may find it more difficult to secure loans or an apartment, as lenders and landlords may check a person’s credit report. However, the Insurance Information Institute recently offered younger consumers tips on how to keep their finances in order:
- Setting up a home budget can make sure expenses don’t outpace income.
- Keeping on top of bills and paying them by their due dates to make sure a credit report is in top shape.
- Not using too much available credit card debt, as high balances can lead to lower credit scores.