College Students and Debt

There is a story on CNN about the debt problems of college students today. While I don’t think the advice is strong enough from the experts, there is some good information, especially for parents of teens.

My favorite part was an example of outstanding parenting …

Ashley Shaw, a freshman broadcast journalism major at Howard University, says she shops with cash, not credit, so she’s aware of how much she can spend. But even without the credit card, she occasionally runs into trouble. She recently overdrew her checking account during a shopping trip.

Right now, Shaw isn’t in any credit or student loan debt. However, she expects to take out student loans in the near future to cover her college expenses.

“As a younger teen, I actually received a credit card and didn’t know my spending limit and that kind of thing, so I maxed out the credit card and was penalized for it, and that’s why I don’t have one now,” Shaw said, explaining her previous troubles with credit.

This is the kind of parenting I want to to for my own children. Ashley sounds like a young woman with an excellent head on her shoulders, who continues to learn the right way to handle money through personal experience. She was lucky to be a teen who had parents who were both engaged and forgiving, and it looks like she is definitely heading in the right direction.

Personally, I hope that she can stay out of the student-loan trap, but it sounds like she has a good enough head on her shoulders to be resonsible and take care of business.


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