As if massive student debt wasn’t bad enough. Having a credit card for emergencies is a good thing for students but they shouldn’t use it for general purposes if they can’t afford it.

CNBC reports:

Over a third of college students already have credit card debt

Erza Bobo, a 21-year-old student at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, balances classes with serving as a resident assistant and working at two local restaurants. Yet it’s not enough to make ends meet.

In addition to the roughly $30,000 in student loans he’s taken on, Bobo tells CNBC Make It that he’s racked up $2,000 in credit card debt that he’s not going to be able to pay off any time soon.

And he’s not alone — 36% of U.S. college students say they already have more than $1,000 in credit card debt. That’s according to a new report this week from EVERFI and AIG that surveyed over 30,000 college students from more than 440 institutions spread across 45 states…

Bobo, who is working toward a business degree in food business management after earning his associate’s degree, says he tries to use his credit card like a debit card. Typically he uses his Discover Miles card for everyday expenses, such as dining out and grocery shopping and then tries to pay down the balance as quickly as possible.

He likes to use his credit card, rather than a debit card, so he can earn miles to fly home to Florida to see his family. “I don’t go wild, I’m not one of those people who will put everything on it,” Bobo says. But he did start to get behind with payments when he had to put some bigger expenses on his card, including emergency car repairs that cost a few thousand dollars.

 
 
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