Managing Credit and Debt

Know the consequences of bad credit.

Soon after enrolling in college you were probably swamped with credit card offers boasting low introductory interest rates and other gifts and rewards for applying. Although getting a credit card is tempting, there are many things that you should be aware of that can have negative long-term effects on your financial well-being.

The resources on this page can help you become a more responsible credit card user.

Pizza Cravings and Credit Cards

Pizza Cravings and Credit Cards

It's tempting to get a credit card when you're pressured almost daily to apply for one. However, credit card companies don't give you the entire picture when they're trying to get your business.

Do you know the real cost of items purchased on a credit card? Watch this short video to find out.

Credit Card Skills Builder

Credit Card Skills Builder*

Are you card smart?

Go on a virtual shopping spree with the interactive Credit Card Skills Builder to learn how credit cards work. The interactive resource also features a credit card glossary and demonstrates how long it will take to pay off a credit card bill by only making monthly minimum payments.

Reading a Credit Card Statement

Reading a Credit Card Statement*

Credit card statements are notoriously difficult to understand. They are filled with strange terms, numbers, and percentages that can add up to hefty fees, penalties and rising interest rates that even the most experienced credit card user might not understand.

AIE's interactive credit card statement explains the terms commonly included on a real statement.

Credit Card Debt - A Student's Story

Credit Card Debt - A Student's Story

It's easy to develop bad spending habits in college when you use a credit card for purchases. In this video, a college graduate explains how living like a professional and accumulating debt while in college forced her to live like a student when she got out.

Watch the video to hear her story

Interactive Credit Report

Interactive Credit Report

Your credit report is basically your financial report card. It provides a record of your borrowing and money-management history, and is used to calculate your credit score. Lenders refer to your credit report to determine if you are a good credit risk for approving a loan.

Use the Interactive Credit Report to learn about the information included in a credit report.

To learn more about avoiding credit card debt, visit the links below:

  • Credit Card Repayment Table
    • Use this chart to compare how long it will take to pay off a credit card by making monthly minimum payments vs. paying 10% a month.
  • Credit Card Terminology
    • It's important to be familiar with all of the terms used in credit card offers and statements to avoid getting deep into credit card debt. Here's a list of commonly used credit card terms with their definitions.
  • Credit Card Suggestions
    • For an increasing number of students, credit cards are a necessary accessory. It is important to follow certain guidelines to be responsible credit card users.
  • Credit Reports
    • Just like a resume or report card, a credit report is used to gauge an individual's financial performance.
  • Credit Scores
    • A credit score is an individual's financial performance grade and is mostly based off of your credit report.

Did you know?

  • Most college students get their first credit card by the fall of their freshman year.
  • More than 80 percent of college students have at least one credit card.
  • College freshmen who have credit cards tend to double their debt by their senior year.


Get Adobe Flash Player *Credit Card Skills Builder and Reading a Credit Card Statement require the Flash Player. If you do not have Flash Player on your computer, you can get it for free from Adobe.

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