Home / Credit News / Sallie May study says just 35 percent of students own credit cards

The first thing they tell you when you get to college is not to run up credit card debt. Sounds like students are finally starting to learn.

A Sallie Mae study in April 2013 shows that the number of students with credit cards has fallen from 42 to 35 percent. The younger college students shied away even more with 21 percent of freshmen owning cards while 60 percent of seniors had them.

Those with the cards were even using them more wisely than the typical college student stereotype. Out of all the students in the study, 33 percent of them maintained a zero balance, 42 percent had more than $500 on their balance and only 23 percent had more than $500.

“College is a time for building not only book smarts but also money smarts,” said Patricia Nash Christel, vice president, Sallie Mae in a press release. “Sallie Mae is committed to providing information that helps students use credit wisely and practice savvy financial habits.”

The students in the study were not only managing their money well, but they were confident in their ability to manage their finances. According to Sallie Mae, 60 percent reported that they are “good or excellent” at managing money.

As with most studies, Sallie Mae reminds students to use credit cards responsibly. Things like paying the full balance on time (or early), charging only what you can afford and using your card only as a convenience can all go towards a healthy credit score.

So even though the recession hasn’t been the greatest thing in the world, it’s apparent that everyone, even college students, are taking note and realizing that entering the real world with no income and credit card debt on top of student loan debt is less than an ideal way to start your career.