By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Now that college students are getting settled in on campus, it can be a good time for a chat about money – especially credit cards. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds that while laws are supposed to protect young people from piling up too much debt, there are still some risks.
Gone are the days of credit card companies setting up shop on college campuses with freebies for signing up. That’s thanks to the card act, The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which took effect in 2010 and put a halt to marketing to students within 1,000 feet of campus. The same law stopped companies from issuing cards to young people under the age of 21, unless they have the income or a co-signer.
But when used properly, managing a credit card can help students learn positive money lessons. So the experts at Credit.com recommend reviewing some important points before putting a credit card in a student’s wallet. That includes the card’s interest rate, late fees, over-limit fees, any annual fees and penalties for missed payments.
The simplest thing a student can do to build good credit is to pay on time. Payment history accounts for 35 percent of a credit score.
Credit card offers are starting to pop up in a place where students spend a lot of time: social media. So make sure your student knows what he or she is really signing up for.