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Avoiding and dealing with debt

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As a student it is more than likely that you will need to manage debt:

  • debt can easily get out of control
  • legal issues may arise if you cannot pay your debts.
Source of debt Things to know Tips
Credit cards Charge very high interest

Debt and interest can build up quickly
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 Avoid these
Mobile phones and internet access Contracts and usage can be expensive if not well suited to your usage patterns Keep phone usage as low as possible

Consider switching to a pre-paid card

Ensure it is the best plan for you
Course fees If you are struggling to pay university course fees, you should seek help Contact Monash Connect
Personal loans Charge high interest rates 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
Be wary when making all purchases for products and services

Contact Consumer Affairs Victoria
Identity theft Is increasingly common

Even when discovered, it may not always be possible to undo the losses and damages
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 See a University counsellor

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.