How to avoid racking up personal debt as an international student

While student loan debt is inevitable in many cases, there are other forms of debt that international students can easily avoid.It may be difficult to manage your personal finances initially. Many international students are leaving home for the first time and having to manage a large amount of funds they aren’t at all used to handling.How do you avoid falling into traps and racking up a huge amount of personal debt during your time abroad? Here are some tips: In countries where your credit score is important like the US, you may be advised to get a credit card to ‘build your credit’.However, while building your credit is important for getting loans later on, it can just as easily damage your credit score if you don’t make payments on time.If you plan on getting a credit card for the sole reason of building up your credit, compare cards from different banks to determine which has the lowest interest rate, annual fee waivers and so on.Once you get it, create an automatic payment for the minimum due each month so it won’t affect your credit score. Use your credit card only to make payments for daily purchases (groceries, books, toiletries), or for bill payments like your mobile phone plan, that you know you can pay off as soon as possible.As tempting as it might be, do not use your credit card to pay for items that are out of your budget, or you’ll likely find yourself deep in debt before you know it. What are store cards? They are credit cards you receive from a specific store or chain instead of a bank, such as Boots, Kohl’s or Victoria’s Secret.

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