Fewer College Students Use Credit Cards, Most Maintain No or a Low Balance

  Fewer College Students Use Credit Cards, Most Maintain No or a Low Balance

   In Recognition of April’s Financial Literacy Month, Sallie Mae Provides
                   Students Tips for Savvy Credit Card Use

Business Wire

NEWARK, Del. -- April 24, 2013

Over the past two years, college student ownership of credit cards has
declined from 42 percent (2010) to 35 percent (2012), according to research
from Sallie Mae and Ipsos. Freshmen were least likely to use credit, with 21
percent having a card in their name compared to 60 percent of seniors.

Most college students exercise caution with credit cards: 33 percent of card
holders had a zero balance, 42 percent had a balance of $500 or less, and just
24 percent had a balance of more than $500. Nearly one quarter (23%) of
parents help pay at least a portion of their student’s credit card bill.

“College is a time for building not only book smarts but also money smarts,”
said Patricia Nash Christel, vice president, Sallie Mae. “Sallie Mae is
committed to providing information that helps students use credit wisely and
practice savvy financial habits.”

According to recent Sallie Mae research, students are optimistic about their
financial abilities as 60 percent reported they are good or excellent at
managing money. In recognition of April’s Financial Literacy Month, Sallie Mae
released an infographic about recent student credit card usage trends.

The company recommends the following tips to keep credit card use in check:

  *Charge only what you can afford to pay in full each month. Don’t end up
    paying interest on pizza and iPod downloads.
  *Pay your bill before it’s due. Don’t wait until the last minute and
    accidentally incur a late fee.
  *Remember that a credit card is a convenience — not a source of spending
    money. Ask, "do I need it, or do I want it?" If you don't need it, don't
    charge it.
  *Keep copies of sales slips and compare them to charges on your bill. If
    you suspect a mistake—or worse, identity theft—contact your card issuer
    immediately.
  *Don't accept increases in your credit limit. Keep it modest.

Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation’s No. 1 financial services company
specializing in education. Celebrating 40 years of making a difference, Sallie
Mae continues to turn education dreams into reality for American families,
today serving 25 million customers. With products and services that include
529 college savings plans, Upromise rewards, scholarship search and planning
tools, education loans, insurance, and online banking, Sallie Mae offers
solutions that help families save, plan, and pay for college. Sallie Mae also
provides financial services to hundreds of college campuses as well as to
federal and state governments. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as
Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or
agencies of the United States of America.

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Contact:

Sallie Mae:
Debby Hohler, 617-454-6741
dhohler@upromise.com
 
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