Credit or debit? Back to school finance

Moving to college is underway, and many parents may be wondering how to keep their child's finances in check.

Should you give your student's a debit or a credit card?

Experts say there are advantages to both. Low A-P-R rates and strict limits for credit cards are offered to students, but it's easy to lose track of charges.

Many, especially students, get in the habit of using a card for many purchaes. Even if those purchases are small, for lunches, gas and groceries, they add up quick.

So one parent and lawyer suggest setting up a debit account instead. That way student's are pulling money from an established account, just like using cash.

"If you pay cash it's done. if you had to pay off your credit card every week, you'd probably go, wow i have a lot of charges i have to pay off this week. but what happens, it's a month later. a month of all these, perhaps, irresponsible or negligence. at the end of the month you get the credit card bill and go, it's 400 dollars. I don't have that."

Whether you choose debit or credit, the important thing is to talk with your kids about budgeting before they head back to school.

Freshmen and other students are often bombarded wtih credit card offers on college campuses, so be sure to set guidelines, and check in with them about how they are spending their money.


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