Battling Credit Card Debt in College

College students are a group of perpetually broke people. Paying for tuition, housing, food, gas, books, and a social life takes a pretty high toll on the average student’s finances. Because of this, many students find themselves in credit card debt; the average college student owes over $3,200!

Once you’ve put yourself in debt, it can be a difficult and overwhelming process fighting your way back out. It is possible, though, and can be achieved with a careful strategy for battling your credit card debt.

Debt Assessment

Before anything else, you need to assess your debt. You’ll need to figure out exactly:

  • How much debt you’re in.
  • How much interest you’re paying on that debt.
  • How much you’ll owe in the near future if you don’t start paying it off.

Once you’ve established an accurate picture of your debt, you’re ready to start getting rid of it.

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Make a Plan

Planning is a very important part of paying off your debt, and establishing a plan is a key component of being prepared to start battling credit card debt.

College students, because of their fixed, low income, may find it difficult at first to start paying off their credit card debts. And it is difficult; you’ll definitely need to make some sacrifices. But once you realize how quickly your $2,500 of debt can turn into $5,000, or even $10,000, you’ll understand how important it is to start taking action immediately.

Take Action

Once you’ve completed your assessment and established a plan, it’s time to start your attack. In order to get rid of your debt, you’ll need to aggressively pay off your creditors.

High-interest credit cards should be paid first, as they can end up costing you thousands of dollars more than you actually spent.

Don’t just pay the minimum payment – this won’t cover much more than the interest that you’re being charged, and will result in a longer repayment process, costing you more money.

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Set aside a specific amount of money from every paycheck that will go directly to paying off your credit card debt.

Start Saving

Once you’ve begun to make a sizable dent in your credit card debt, it’s important to start saving money. This will help prevent you from falling back into debt should an extenuating circumstance arise, such as a medical emergency or a broken-down car.

If you have a cushion to spend from, you won’t have to use your credit card as much, which will go a long way in reducing your debt.

Change Your Spending Habits

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll need to cut your spending. No matter how many other measures you take, this is probably the one that will be the deal breaker.

If you don’t spend money on going to concerts and ordering pizza all the time, you won’t have to use your credit card to pay for things like gas and groceries.

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Get your spending under control and you’ll get your debt under control.