Debt consolidation may be an option for graduating students

Courses and books may be on the minds of many students who are heading off to college this fall. However, credit card debt management should be something young people pay attention to as well.

That may be especially true for students who have graduated or plan on graduating this year. According to Sallie Mae, the average credit card debt for a graduating college senior was $4,100 in 2008, which is up from $2,900 in 2004.

Students facing credit card debt and who are trying to repay students loans may consider debt consolidation. A recent article in the Cherokee Chronicle Times noted that debt consolidation could end up helping some students.

"Often, students who consolidate within six months of graduation or who sign up for automatic payments can save even more," the paper noted.

Other advice from the paper to students included making payments on time in order to keep the credit history positive. The paper also advised that students develop a monthly spending plan, which would include having enough in savings to be able to cover emergency situations.