Avoiding and dealing with debt

As a student it is likely that you will need to manage debt as it can easily get out of control. Also you may face legal action if you cannot pay your debts.

Debt sources

Credit cards

  • Charge very high interest
  • Debt and interest can build up quickly

Tips

  • Use credit sparingly
  • Repay promptly and keep the limit low
  • Shop around for the best rate and repayment period

Store cards

  • Charge extremely high interest

Tips

  • Avoid these

Mobile phones and internet access

  • Contracts and usage can be expensive if not well suited to your usage patterns

Tips

  • Keep phone usage as low as possible
  • Consider switching to a pre-paid card
  • Ensure it is the best plan for you

Course fees

Tips

  • If you are struggling to pay university course fees you should seek help through Monash Connect

Personal loans

  • Charge high interest rates

Tips

  • Before borrowing, consider your ability to repay and the consequences of not meeting the payments

Scams and traps

  • Things that sound too good to be true usually are
  • Get rich quick schemes usually only benefit the scammer
  • Consumers have rights that the government attempts to support

Tips

Identity theft

  • Is increasingly common
  • Even when discovered, it may not always be possible to undo the losses and damages

Tips

  • Keep personal details private - be careful when using social media
  • Protect your passwords and PIN numbers
  • Shop online using an accredited payment gateway or using a card not linked to your bank account

Gambling

  • Regular gambling and the highs and lows of winning and losing can be addictive

Tips

A poor credit history can prevent you from accessing future financial services. Legal advice is available to help students with any unexpected problems that arise.