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Credit Cards 101: Take Control Of College Credit

(NAPSI)-As millions of college freshmen settle into campus life, many are also embarking on their first experience with credit cards.

Whether the credit cards come from the students' parents with emergency-only instructions or are used to pay for books and various dorm room supplies, it's important that students understand that credit is a privilege that comes with responsibility.

According to the American Bankers Association Education Foundation, establishing good credit, savings and budgeting habits early can help young adults avoid costly mistakes. It also helps establish a solid credit record.

The Foundation offers these credit tips to help you stay in control of your personal finances:

Carrying a balance costs money; if you pay off your credit bill each month, it's like a free and instant loan.

Records follow you everywhere; pay your bills on time to keep your credit report clean.

Errors occur, so check your monthly statements for accuracy and review your credit report annually.

Doing a budget discourages over-spending and helps you save.

Information is power; so keep yours secure; never give account information over the phone unless you initiate the call.

Talk with your banker; in case of any problems, it's the first step toward resolution.

For more personal finance tips or to take the In Charge Credit Quiz, visit http://www.aba.com and click on "Consumer Connection."

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