Credit card debt starts young in America. Eighteen-year-olds can and do get credit cards, especially if they're headed for college. Enter the big hall on registration day, and there are numerous credit card companies lined up in booths, with easy credit to offer. First the kids start using the card for textbooks, then stereo equipment and clothes. Before they know it, they're asking their parents to bail them out. Unfortunately, more often than not, this behavior is carried into adulthood when our parents are no longer bailing us out.
The big point about debt is this: it doesn't put you in control, it puts you in chains. You want to be making the decisions about when and what you buy -- and with money that's in your pocket, not money you hope to get in the future. Credit card spending can encourage impulse buying, bad-mood buying, and excessive buying. However, if you take control and use your cards wisely, they can become a convenient and helpful tool for spending money that you do have. Here are some things you should know about preventing the revolving credit merry- go-round:
These tips should get you started in clearing out the debt you have now and preventing the same situation in the future. Remember, though, you must be aware of the effects of your spending and have the will-power to say, "no" when needed.
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