As kids head off to college this time of year, the Attorney General's office is issuing a warning to students, "the financial choices students make during their college years can have lasting effects on their future."
Credit card companies target young consumers by tempting college students with free merchandise or discounts for signing up.
Tips from the Attorney General's Office
If students decide to sign up for a credit card, they should choose wisely and shop around for the lowest interest rate and fees. A free t-shirt is not worth the debt they might incur with a new card. They should pay off the balance every month, and never sign up for a new card if they cannot pay off the debt they already have.
Students should use caution when starting to build their credit history. Be aware that late payments and unpaid balances will stay on their credit report for years, possibly affecting their ability to purchase a car or secure a loan down the road. Late fees on utility bills can also negatively impact their credit.
It is impossible to outline all the risks new college students face, but learning a few simple tips goes a long way to protecting their financial future. For more consumer tips, visit www.ksag.org.