Credit cards for those younger than 21 could be thing of the past - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Credit cards for those younger than 21 could be thing of the past

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By Ashley Conroy

RIDGELAND, MS (WLBT) - College students across the state are back in full swing for the fall 2010 school year.

With the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2010, many could be going back without their name branded in plastic. 

"My mom said no credit card until after I'm 21 and out of her house," said Sophomore at Holmes Community College in Ridgeland Brittney Eubanks.

Sophomore Tyler Gibson says her parents gave her the same advice.

"They told me it would be the best decision not to get a credit card too soon cause they don't want me to mess my credit up or anything like that," Gibson said.

Under these rules, those under 21 cannot obtain a credit card unless they have adequate income, take a financial literacy course or have an adult/parent co-sign.

Credit Counselor of CredAbility in Jackson Chris Burford says even if a person under 21 can afford a credit card, to be cautious before signing a contract.

"If they're gonna sign that contract that they understand what their signing. Make sure to think about the pros and cons of it," Burford said.

Gibson said her parents advised her to get a "pay-as-you-go" credit card so she wouldn't have to carry around cash all the time. But overall, she says it's helped her manage her money.

Sophomore, Marcus Siler says her parents cautiously allowed to get a credit card. But thoroughly gave him advise to not over spend.

"They told me to make sure I was only using enough money that I could handle and not get in over my head with anything," Siler said.

Meantime, CredAbility says whether someone is under or over 21 to always have a money management plan in case life circumstances create a bind.

However, students like Eubanks, Gibson, and Siler all have a part-time job, and say after one year of college, they've learned the value of money management.

"You have to manage your money, especially when it comes to books being so high and supplies you need for class," said Eubanks.

While Gibson agrees about the school expense. "Manage your money wisely, be careful what you spend it on, school is very expensive."

And Siler says in this economy, any little bit helps. "Getting a job and being able to support yourself as much as possible to ease the pain off your parents."

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