Use the Web to Take Charge of Your Credit
We use credit to make many substantial business deals, such as buying a home or car, or obtaining a loan. Other times, we simply want to use a credit card to make our daily lives a little easier. Whether you want to learn how to select the right credit card, protect yourself from identity theft, or learn how your credit score affects the loans you receive, the Web can serve as your guide to understanding, establishing, and maintaining good credit. For a Spanish-language version of the Guide, click here
The credit card industry mailed more than six billion credit card offers to households during 2005. ... read more »
Your credit score can have an impact on many aspects of your financial life, perhaps none more ... read more »
There are credit cards to suit a unique array of personal needs. Flight miles, cash-back rewards, ... read more »
If you're even asking this question, the answer is probably yes. In fact, because credit card debt ... read more »
Approximately 83 percent of undergraduate college students possessed at least one credit card in 2001, according to student loan service company Nellie Mae. With credit card use spreading among young people, the importance of understanding credit and its effects on finances is paramount. The Web has helpful information for young adults who need to establish and maintain good credit, and for parents on how to get their children started using credit responsibly.
- Many credit card companies offer free t-shirts or music downloads as incentives to apply for their credit cards. However, high interest rates or hidden fees that come with some cards are a poor exchange for the "freebies" you may find appealing. Instead of signing up based on impulse and enticement, use College Plastic, described below, and the sites in the "Choosing the Right Credit Card" section of this guide to make informed decisions on which cards to choose.
- This article from MSN Money offers advice for parents who want to teach their teenagers how to use credit cards.
For help deciding whether your child should have a credit card ...
The College Board
takes a less extreme (but still cautious) stance in this article. It explains that, although credit cards can be handy in the event of an emergency, there are some potential financial dangers college students should guard against.
Family First Aid
offers Troubled Teen Help, written by parents about a variety of problems you might be having with your child. The "Teen Responsibility" section has advice to help you decide whether you should allow your teen or college student to have a credit card and offers tips to prevent overspending.
For college students ...
helps college students find credit cards with good rewards and low interest rates. Use this site to learn about specific terminology related to credit or read articles about credit.
is a subsidiary of the huge student loan company SLM Corporation, or Sallie Mae. Click the "Your financial success" tab to learn how to use credit cards and how to protect yourself from identity theft. For information about student loans, select the category that matches you (undergraduate student, graduate student, or parents & sponsors). From there, you can review and apply for a federal or Nellie Mae student loan.
You Can Deal With It
is a tool from American Education Services. This site teaches college students and recent grads about effective management of financial responsibilities, including loan payments and budgeting. Resources are also provided to help parents and financial aid administrators offer advice to their students.
For teenagers ...
explains the things teenagers should know about credit cards, such as interest rates, payment schedules, and the dangers of making only the minimum payments on a card. This article also teaches parents how to progressively help their children learn money management, starting with opening a checking account for their child, then allowing use of a debit card and, finally, a credit card.
Kids and Money
from CBS News, suggests that parents need to help their children develop a "concrete" concept of money. Because of online banking, debit, and credit cards, it could be easy for teens to forget that they are actually dealing with real money when all they might see is plastic.
With so many people using credit cards, credit card fraud has become a lucrative ... read more »
If interest rates are starting to look too intimidating, it might be time to consider a credit ... read more »
Home equity lines of credit have much lower interest rates than credit cards and are more flexible ... read more »
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