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Survey: College Students Financially Savvy, Avoid High Credit Card Debt
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College students are less reliant on credit cards and are more confident about their financial shrewdness, according to a CreditDonkey.com survey.
A vast majority of students feel responsible enough to use credit cards without straddling themselves with unsustainable levels of debt. 84.7% of students said that they feel responsible enough to use a credit card, even though some of those students don't have any credit cards at all.
3 in 10 respondents said that they don't have a credit card and another 3 in 10 got their first credit card at age 18.
Most students, some 60.2%, said that they were approved for the first credit card they applied for, while 28.1 percent said that they have never applied for a credit card.
"College students' confidence in their ability to manage debt may be well-founded, especially when compared to the Baby Boomers, who, in recent years, have become synonymous with high debt," says Charles Tran, founder of CreditDonkey.com.
Recently, a majority of boomers between 50 and 64 surveyed by the AARP said that they feel anxious about whether they can afford to retire, thanks both to high levels of debt and low levels of assets.
Millennials, on the other hand, are keen to avoid racking up debt even if they do have a card. 42% of college students surveyed who do have a credit card pay off the balance in full, and 20% said that they pay "a lot more than the minimum amount due." Only 16.8% said that they pay the minimum payment every month.
Millennials also were overwhelmingly aware of the toll that student loans can take on their financial future. 77.8% of students surveyed were aware that student loans cannot be wiped out in bankruptcy and several cited "student loans" as one of their largest financial concerns.
Upon graduation, college students expect to make an average of $51,220/year. Over 10% of respondents expect to make over $75,000/year. Nearly 5% expect to make less than the national poverty threshold for a family of 4 ($23,050).
Nearly 6 in 10 primarily pay for day-to-day expenses with a debit card. 1 in 6, some 16%, pays with a credit card.
1 in 4 would be willing to pay a $25 "financial literacy fee" to establish/support a college financial literacy program, in addition to tuition.
CreditDonkey.com conducted the online survey of 1,041 college students from August 2 to August 27, 2012.
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