You need some more money for college expenses this semester. Do you whip out a credit card to pay for your books, or do you apply for a federal or private loan? Well, consider the options –
-With a federal loan, your interest rate will be low (around 5%) and your payments will be deferred until 6-9 months after graduation.
-With a private loan, the interest rate will be slightly higher than with a federal loan but will still be lower than average. In addition, you will only need to make interest payments until after graduation.
-With a credit card, on the other hand, the interest rate can be as high as 21%. Interest begins accruing almost immediately, and you need to begin paying off the bill the next month.
This is not to say that credit cards do not have a place in your college life. It is good to have one national card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover) on hand to help you build a positive credit history and to provide security in emergencies. When you decide to apply for a card, compare annual fees, interest rates, and introductory offers. And to keep yourself out of debt, try to–
-Pay your balance each month to avoid interest charges
-Pay your bill on time to avoid late charges
-Avoid cash advances, which come with large finance charges and interest that begins accruing immediately.
This article is distributed by NextStudent. At NextStudent, we believe that getting an education is the best investment you can make, and we’re dedicated to helping you pursue your education dreams by making college funding as easy as possible. We invite you to learn more on how Student loans are better than credit cards at http://www.NextStudent.com .