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The Freshman $1000: How To Help Your College Student With Credit Card Debt

Because of these limitations, Ulzheimer recommends that the parent to pay off the debt and then have the student pay back the parent either the whole amount or a portion of the debt with interest added. "The payback process isn't really as much about the money as about the effort and learning that you have to work to pay off your debts," says Ulzheimer.

3. Brainstorm ways for future responsible credit management

Talk with your student about the long term effects of poor credit decisions. Discuss how giving into the temptation for the latest gadgets or fashions can affect their ability down the road to buy a car, take out a mortgage or even land a job that requires a credit check.

Brainstorm together about ways to avoid this situation in the future and how she can use credit responsibly in the future. If your student currently has her own credit card, Ulzheimer recommends closing the account and adding her to one of your credit cards as an authorized user to give you more control and monitoring ability. If this is not option, other strategies include lowering the college student's credit limit to $300 or $500 and having the bills sent to your address to help give your student some accountability.

"Your main goal should be to help teach your child how to use credit cards responsibly at an early age." says Ulzheimer. There may not be an easy way to have a conversation about finances, but better a tough conversation now than a real disaster later.

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