American Consumer Credit Counseling Offers Five Ways to Tackle Student Debt in College

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With student debt at an all-time high, national nonprofit, ACCC provides students with ways to make smart financial decisions while in college.

As the cost of tuition continues to climb, more and more students are forced to seek out loans and financial aid to continue their education.

As the cost of college continues to rise, so has student loan debt – which has reached record highs. Creating a budget has become imperative for all college students in order to minimize their debt upon graduation. American Consumer Credit Counseling is offering five simple tips for students heading to college this Fall semester to help minimize student debt.

College students are graduating with more student debt than ever before. In 2015, the average student debt per graduate was $35,000. On top of that, students are not receiving adequate education on how to minimize debt. In a recent study by the Student Loan Marketing Association, 84 percent of college students admitted to needing more education on financial management.

“As the cost of tuition continues to climb, more and more students are forced to seek out loans and financial aid to continue their education,” said Steven Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Because of these costs, many students are graduating with more debt than they could ever imagine.”

According to Nationwide Insurance, the average income of a college student is around $1,200 per month, which includes a part-time job as well as help from parents. Even though this is the average income, 21 percent of students have a credit card balance between $3,000 and $7,000. Although having a credit card is necessary to build and maintain credit, it is important that it be used responsibly and not for everyday purchases.

“Credit cards are usually targeted at college students,” said Trumble. “By learning to budget and limit the temptation to overspend, students will be able to build credit responsibly.”

With student credit card debt averaging $4,100, American Consumer Credit Counseling offers five ways to tackle student debt in college:

1.    Stick to a budget – With a budget, you will be less tempted to use credit cards, which are often targeted at college-aged students, for everyday expenses.

2.    Try a pre-paid credit card – A Nationwide Bank Buxx card, for example, can help promote good spending habits so that students can learn smart money management skills without risk of debt.

3.    Borrow wisely –Always be on the lookout for new scholarships you can apply for. A scholarship is basically free money that you do not have to pay back upon graduation. Loans are great at the time, but with added interest they can get costly.

4.    Get a job – Consider applying for a part-time job, such as a waiter, hostess, a retail worker, or babysitter. You may also be able to find a job on campus, such as a resident assistant or tutor. Having a job will provide you with extra spending money.

5.    Cut unnecessary living expenses – More often than not, living on campus is significantly cheaper than living off campus. If your school provides on campus housing, take it!

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization, that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  •     For credit counseling call 800-769-3571
  •     For bankruptcy counseling. call 866-826-6924
  •     For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  •     Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. As experts in debt and credit management, ACCC believes that many of the same principles applied to recovering from significant credit card debt can be applied to repaying student loan debt. ACCC provides prospective, current, and past students and their families with the information and resources necessary to make the best possible personal finances decisions about their college education and to help successfully maneuver the repayment process without relying on credit card debt or additional loans. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.

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Tony Catinella
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