Students rack up credit card debt to cover tuition

College students saddled with student loans may find themselves turning to credit cards to help pay their tuition and other educational expenses.

A survey conducted by credit card rating website CardRatings.com, found that 36 percent of respondents turned to their credit cards to help pay for college. Seventeen percent of students said they have accrued more than $10,000 in credit card debt from educational costs.

Graduates with a large credit card balance can take steps to help manage their finances.

“Consumers who have considerable student loan debt on their credit cards should explore options to minimize the interest expense,” says CardRatings.com spokesperson Beverly Harzog. “The available options will depend on credit history, but if possible, transferring a balance from a high-interest card to one with a zero-percent or low-interest introductory APR can save them money.”

The number of students carrying credit card debt from placing tuition on their cards may decline in the near future. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act will require people under the age of 21 to have a cosigner in order to open a credit card account.