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Credit Cards: Not So Evil

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There is much controversy about whether college students should take on debt to finance their education. Many people disagree because numbers show that college students' debts are increasing and are sometimes very difficult to pay off. All five authors of the articles we read feel credit cards and loans are something college students should avoid. Only a few people mentioned in these articles believe otherwise, and these people are correct. College students should take on debt to finance their education because not only are the students able to pay for their education with this money, but they are also building up their credit, something that is essential in today's society. All they have to do to keep this debt from growing excessively is be responsible.

Most college students do not have $20,000 in a savings account set aside for college expenses. Many do not qualify for financial aid. Still others do not receive money from numerous scholarships. So, where can these students get money to pay for college? This is a question that the articles we read didn't answer. Student loans can be the deciding factor on whether to stay in college or not. The article "Graduated Payments: There Are Ways To Get Out From Under Those Big College Loans," by the staff of Consumer Reports, informs us that debts are payable. The article gives us a number of options, form getting help from parents, to making reasonable deals with the loan providers. This proves that debts are not impossible to pay back.

Credit cards are also a subject of discord among the authors of the five articles. In her article "Do College Students Need Credit Cards? Hardly," Michelle Singletary states various ways that college students can obtain good credit without the use of credit cards, such as having utility bills under their name. Although this method is valid, credit cards build up credit much faster. Good credit will allow college students to buy things, such as a house and a car, upon graduation. Also, having a credit card comes in handy in case of an emergency. If one's car runs out of gas or breaks down, one has the possibility of paying for gas or for getting it fixed when cash isn't available. One can also stay in a motel until someone is able to come and help. This seems to be a concern that parents have in Singletary's article. However, Singletary argues that college students have no excuse to run out of gas and that some motels do rent out rooms without requiring a credit card. But what if a student does run out of gas? What if he or she can't find a room without the credit card requirement? This is where the credit card comes into play. I can remember a "what if" occasion in which a credit card saved me. I drove to school, and it wasn't until I arrived that I realized the fuel gauge was on empty. I had no cash, but luckily I had my credit card and I was able to get gas in order to make it back home.

As I mentioned before, credit cards and loans are manageable, but students have to be responsible. In



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