High credit card debt is harming college students' academic performance and long-term credit record, according to research by Robert Manning, a visiting professor at Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C. The average college student has more than $2,200 in revolving credit card debt, and 20% of student cardholders carry more than $10,000 in revolving debt, as reported in Credit Union Magazine's News Now.

This leads to another problem—students working many part-time jobs to pay down debt. This often leads to poor academic performance and lower retention and graduation rates.

It's a vicious cycle—students with high credit card debt also have a harder time repaying student loans. In fact, some employers and graduate schools are beginning to reject applicants who had bad credit records in college. Poor credit ratings also endanger students' ability to rent apartments, finance cars, and purchase homes once they enter the workforce.

Students will find credit card offers everywhere on campus—inside plastic bags at campus bookstores, through direct mail, ads on university Web pages, ads in student magazines, and at various events. Though these offers may be tempting, check with your credit union for the best credit card rate instead of being sucked into more debt.

© 2000 Credit Union National Association Inc.