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Personality Factors, Money Attitudes, Financial Knowledge, and Credit-Card Debt in College Students

Authors


  • 1The authors thank Carrie Bork for her assistance in data collection.

Abstract

The issue of credit-card debt among college students has received increasing attention. This study explored factors hypothesized to be causes and effects of credit-card debt in 448 students on five college campuses. Students reported an average of $1,035 (SD=$1,849) in debt, including students without credit cards or credit-card debt. Lack of financial knowledge, age, number of credit cards, delay of gratification, and attitudes toward credit-card use were related to debt. Sensation seeking, materialism, the Student Attitude Toward Debt scale, gender, and grade point average were not unique predictors of debt. Students reporting greater debt reported greater stress and decreased financial well being. Results highlight the need for comprehensive financial literacy education among college students.

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