Credit card debt is an unfortunate reality for far too many people, and college students tend to be particularly affected. According to a study by The College Finance Company, college students have over $3,280 worth of credit card debt on average and 64.8% of college students have at least some credit card debt.
To make things even worse, the two most common mistakes that lead to students going into debt are only paying the minimum balance and forgetting to make a payment at all. Needless to say, these are two mistakes that are easy to make but can take years to overcome.
There’s no question that credit card debt and missed payments are a bad thing. It’s why we’re building the Fizz card, a credit building debit card that doesn’t charge fees, doesn’t charge interest, doesn’t let you rack up debt - all while helping you budget and stay on top of your finances.
Credit card debt doesn’t have to be a part of college life anymore. But since Fizz hasn’t always been around, there are still tons of people out there saddled with credit card debt, poor credit scores, or both. We envision a world where no one has to live with credit card debt. Let’s take a look at what that might look like.
By the numbers
The average college student has over $3,280 worth of credit card debt. That’s a good chunk of money no matter how you look at it. Plus, credit card debt tends to build interest at an incredibly high rate, so that $3,280 is ever growing. And it’s certainly an amount the average person would rather have in their pocket. If $3,280 is a little amorphous, think of it this way.
With $3,280, you could buy a cup of coffee every day for about two years. It’s also about a year’s worth of Chipotle burritos. It’s more than enough to go on a couple solid shopping sprees. And depending on where you live, you could buy about 164 30-racks of Miller Lite.
You can get creative and think of a million different ways to spend $3,280. But let’s take it a step further. Let’s say that instead of having $3,280 in credit card debt, you decided to invest. Even if you invested in the most boring index fund ever, you’d likely have an additional $1,522 after just four years.
You could even decide to invest in something crazy, like a friend’s business or an obscure cryptocurrency. You might make 100 times your money, or you might make nothing. But it’s important to remember that even if you lost everything, it would still be better than building up debt.
Why it matters
All of this is speculative. Not everyone has credit card debt, and even if you do, there isn’t much you can do to magically make it disappear overnight. I understand that telling you what you could have in an alternate reality can be kind of annoying. To borrow a phrase, “if my grandmother had wheels, she would’ve been a bike.”
The point is that if you haven’t gotten started yet or are just getting started building your credit, you should be mindful of the effect that your actions can have. Using a credit card with confusing terms, fees, interest rates, and credit lines that encourage overspending is something you should be wary of - because debt is real, and debt sucks.
At Fizz, we’re helping create a world without credit card debt. Instead of looking at your debt and envisioning what you could buy with it, we’d rather you have no debt at all and actually be free to spend that money. That’s why Fizz doesn’t charge fees, doesn’t charge interest, and doesn’t let you go into debt. We just want you to build your credit score, earn rewards, and live financially free. So download the Fizz app today and let's make it happen!