Common college student financial mistakes

College is a time of learning and growth. For many students, it is the first time they are on their own and faced with the responsibility of making major decisions. Youth, inexperience and stress can all combine to create a perfect storm for financial folly. College itself is a major expense that will likely lead to debt, but some students might be incurring additional debts that are excessive and unnecessary.

If you are a student or have a child who is in college, the following are some common mistakes that you should be aware of. Debt can accumulate easily, and it is imperative that young people avoid the problems that it can later cause.

Failing to maintain budget

One of the most important skills that students should enter college with is the ability to set a budget and stick to it. Unfortunately, however, few schools teach such financial skills, and parents do not always impart this knowledge either. It is no surprise, then, that many college students are unable to develop a clear budget that keeps them on track.

Abusing and overusing credit cards

According to U.S. News, recent studies indicate that college students are becoming decreasingly responsible with their credit card habits. Credit cards are one of the most common causes of burdening debt, so this trend is particularly alarming. Reliance upon credit cards is often a consequence of the aforementioned failure to budget, but it can be remedied by scaling back and making consistent payments.

Ignoring mounting debt

Once debt has escalated into an obvious problem, there is no choice but to address the problem. Many students — and people in general — allow the issue to worsen further because they do not want to deal with it. If you cannot feasibly repay your debts, it is time to consider solutions such as credit counseling, bankruptcy or consolidation.

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