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BBB offers credit card tips for college students

Beware of companies offering freebies

Getty Images
Getty Images

SAN ANTONIO – Credit cards are great in an emergency or for building your credit, but they can also become a financial burden if you’re not careful.

The Better Business Bureau offers tips and advice for avoiding credit card fraud.

Most college students have a clean credit history, which makes them appealing to credit card companies as well as thieves.

Research different options before signing up for credit cards, and only use secure websites.

Beware of companies offering freebies. This is sometimes used as a tactic to get students to use a credit card with a higher interest rate.

Credit card fees, late charges and interest can add up, making the debt more difficult to pay back, which is why knowing your options is so important.

Don’t charge more than you can afford to pay back at the end of the month.

Credit cards can also be extremely useful in emergency situations, for online shopping and paying for gas. All of these charges are helpful for establishing good credit when the balance can be paid off in a short time.

The BBB and the Federal Trade Commission offer the following tips:

  • Report lost cards and incorrect charges immediately
  • Don’t lend your card to anyone
  • Request a new card if you notice unauthorized charges
  • Never sign a blank charge slip
  • Use caution when ordering products online or over the phone
  • Activate text updates