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Credit Cards, Friend Or Foe?

            Most Americans today believe that credit cards are their enemy. This is because many of these people abuse their credit cards. They charge more than they can pay off at the end of the month. These people are constantly caught in the vicious cycle of credit card debt. But for those few who use their credit card responsibly, it can be a great benefit.
             Credit card abuse has become a major problem in recent times. The average credit card carrying family is $8,367 in credit card debt. These families who do not pay off their whole credit card bill each month, pay interest rates on the remaining amount. It could be years before they pay off one large purchase. Unfortunately, credit card companies do not wait around for the young to start families before they aim for them. They target kids when they are still college students. .
             Companies will try anything to get college students to sign up for their card; they will even offer free t-shirts or cookies. These propaganda techniques are very successful, 54% of first-year students and 62% of second-year students own at least one credit card. But there are a few good reasons why credit card companies hand out freebies and aim for the young. Although most students don't have a credit history or even a job, they are often a card issuer's best customer. College students generally need the money the most and are least educated about finances. As a result, 70% of students who attend four-year colleges and own credit cards have $2,000 or more of revolving debt. Once a bank has the student's attention it can market other products such as first mortgages, car loans, and debt-consolidation loans. Ironically, students are less of a credit risk than the average person because their parents often pay their bills. Companies will also target students because studies show that students keep their first credit card for an average of 15 years. If companies can hook them while their young, they will have their business for quite some time.

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