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College students and young adults, starting out or planning careers, want to avoid credit problems and long-term debt.
But with pitches by companies to add new credit cards, it's hard to know which credit cards to choose and when to say, "No."
Here are common mistakes new credit card holders make that turn credit convenience into credit card problems:
* Allowing a need for status to overrule common sense. You know that leather jacket you want? Or plasma TV? Avoid impulse purchases, if you cannot afford them without creating long-term credit card debt.
* Collecting “status” credit cards with higher limits, a cool look, or marquee names. Getting a status credit card may give consumers a sense of status. But these cards often have higher annual fees or interest rates that can deepen your credit card problems.
* Charging to your credit limit. Some of these cards offer limits of $10,000, $20,000 and $30,000 for existing credit card holders. Spending to your limit will create credit card problems and long-term credit card debt.
* Not knowing your interest rates and late fees. This is the easiest way to rack unexpected big bills and big credit card problems. This can happen to new credit card holders as well as consumers who've held long-term credit card debt on the same card.