BMO Advising Students Keep the Credit Card Balance Down

By: Justin Leung on September 13, 2012

With the back to school session in full swing, many students, both first time and returning, are taking the first couple weeks to adjust to life at college or university. By adjusting for many this means living it up and partying like there’s no tomorrow; bring on the fun and put tomorrow’s worries on the backburner. But while the party can be a great way to meet new people and enjoy feeling liberated from back home; if the costs are not being kept track of, they can quickly get out of hand and start the new experience off chasing debts.

This is what BMO and other financial experts are warning students about. It’s great to have fun and no one will blame you for it but there’s a balance that needs to be maintained between having fun and putting yourself in extra, unmanageable debt. This is why they are encouraging students to take advantage of Student Price Cards (SPC) available through BMO and others for help in both managing tight budgets and finding ways to take advantage of discounts and loyalty programs.

BMO recently did a survey in preparation for the back to school season; in it they found student respondents who were on tighter budgets or just more what they call ‘cash conscious’, will be taking advantage of discounts to lower the day to day expenses while at school. It doesn’t matter whether the discounts are in-store or online, through the use of a regular bank card or a student price card; as long as it saves money in the end, that’s the kind of thinking BMO and respondents are hoping to encourage more students to live by.

BMO’s no fee SPC credit card is one way for students to build those discounts. With it students get 10 to 15 percent discounts from hundreds of retailers across Canada in the fashion, grocery, entertainment, and lifestyle industries. By using the card to make purchases each month students are entitled to rewards and discounts for hundreds of dollars each year; and for a student on a tight budget, anything extra to help is always a good thing no matter what value.

But managing payments on those cards is also important. Rebecca Tascona, BMO’s Director of Credit Card Management, warns students to make the payments for the SPCs and any credit card on time to keep the interest charges from eating up students’ needed savings. Like with balancing the party with its costs, timely payments must be balanced with the budget.