Americans with Student Loan Debt Shouldn't Shun Credit Cards, says CreditCardForum

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Leading credit card industry analyst provides expert tips for increasing credit score

CreditCardForum, the premier one-stop resource for and by consumers seeking in-depth information, opinions and advice on credit cards, has today issued expert commentary to the market explaining why the millions of Americans that carry student loan debt should not make assumptions about their credit-worthiness or deny themselves the financial benefits that can come from smart and strategic use of credit cards.

With a unique insight into some of the behaviors and fears of consumers – gained with more than 30 years of professional experience in the credit card industry as well as analysis of the opinions and comments posted in CreditCardForum’s consumer threads – CreditCardForum President and General Manager Ben Woolsey said he has come across a common misconception whereby those with student loan debt believe they will be unable to be approved for a credit card or that it would be unwise to apply.

“Many of the estimated 40 million Americans who hold student debt, and especially more recently graduated millennials with larger balances, often believe their student loans will adversely affect their access to credit, or else they simply choose not to apply for credit cards thinking that having an additional line of credit will hinder their credit score. This could be a contributing factor to explain why millennials in particular exhibit a preference for debit cards in their payment choices compared to older generations,” Woolsey said.

“However, when it comes to building a strong credit score, the various credit card score bureaus look at different types of credit – for example, revolving and installment – and having a diversity of credit will actually be advantageous to your credit score,” Woolsey explained.

According to Woolsey, debt repayment history and utilization levels, i.e. the amount of credit you have available to you vs. the amount of debt, are the most important factors in determining credit score. This means that for many student loan debt holders gaining additional lines of credit and keeping any balances paid off each month may be an advisable course of action to optimize credit scores over time.

CreditCardForum’s comments come as research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that 43 million Americans owe a collective $1.26 trillion in student loan debt. This troubling dilemma has even recently captured the attention of presidential candidates who are seeking ways to make college more affordable for young Americans.

About CreditCardForum
CreditCardForum is the premier one-stop resource for and by consumers seeking in-depth information, opinions and advice on credit cards that also allows for immediate comparison and application to preferred cards. Since 2008, the site has been the leading online community dedicated to consumer-driven education on the credit card industry. The user-contributed forum is enhanced by a hosted blog that covers latest industry developments that help consumers make more informed decisions regarding their credit cards. It also serves as a repository for key market data from multiple sources that provides a snapshot of the industry, backed by experts in the financial services and banking arena. CreditCardForum is the go-to site for thousands of credit-card users each week seeking information and constructive peer-to-peer engagement with the aim of strengthening their financial bottom line.

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Amy Palmer
Account Executive
Leverage PR

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