Through credit card may seem to solve problems they can also create problems of their own.
Credit cards use by students remains high despite economic uncertainty.
For poor college students, the thought of having access to money they don’t necessarily have sounds pretty nice. What they might overlook, however, is the hardships debt may bring their way if they aren’t careful.
Even when unemployment and national debt are high, 30 percent of money spent on campus is spent through credit. Some students understand how credit works and use it appropriately, but students still need to be careful.
According to the 2010 Census, Americans were in a total of $886 billion in credit card debt in 2009. With such high debt, students should be aware of what they’re spending and how they’re spending it.
UVU offers different methods of payment throughout the campus, allowing students to steer away from credit card use if it’s a concern for them.
On-campus restaurants, the cafeteria and the bookstore say 70-80 percent of transactions are made with card, the remaining 20-30 percent being cash.
The loser in campus purchases is the archaic check, which has gone the way of flip-phones and furbies. Restaurant cashiers say they see maybe one check a week, and sometimes not even that, but they are still an option for many campus purchases.
Scoops is the exception to the use of plastic; most of its purchases are small snacks bought with change.
The bookstore is one of the only places on campus where the cashier has to indicate on the register whether a card is debit or credit, and 30 percent of transactions are made with credit cards. Nearly all large purchases, such as textbooks or computers are bought on credit.
“A lot of students just don’t have the money, so they put it on credit, and that can build up,” said a bookstore employee.
Costa Vida and Subway, the busiest restaurants on campus, say nearly every student uses the frequent eater programs, giving students a discount or free meal after a number of points are collected. At the café in the library and the cafeteria many students have “Green Bucks,” which gives a 5 percent discount.
The student body takes advantage of the programs and accounts offered to save money on campus. A surprisingly high number of students also say they budget and balance their accounts regularly.
While credit use is high, some students are aware of financial situations, and make an effort to use money responsibly.
So swipe that plastic, but make sure you keep your spending in control.