Step 1:
     Research 3 credit cards from different banks with 3 different interest rates and
     answer the questions listed below.  Using this site, if you click on 'Learn More
     About your Offer', you can learn how to read a credit card statement. Use the
     sites below to find your information about the cards.  For each card, list the
     site where you found the information. 
(On some of the cards,  you may need to click on 'apply now' to find the terms and conditions. 
       You won't need to fill in any personal information to get the details you need.)


  1. What is the APR that they are offering?  Are you guaranteed to get this rate?  Can it change?  Is it an introductory rate?  If so, how long does it last and what does it change to?
  2. Is there an annual fee?
  3. What are other benefits/rewards offered with this card?
  4. What happens if you miss a payment?
Step 2:
     Three scenarios are listed below.  Use one or more of the credit card
     calculators listed below to solve each problem.

       Calculator 1         Calculator 2         Calculator 3        
  1. It's Spring Break and you and a friend decide to go on a trip.  You pay for it with your credit card and charge $2,500.
  2. Your car breaks down.  You use your credit card to pay the $1,000 bill.
  3. In the book excerpt The Freshman Ten, Christi charges $10,000 on her credit cards during her first year of college.
     For each of these scenarios, answer the following questions.  Assume no
     further purchases on the card.
       a.)  What would your payments be each month to pay off the balance in one
            year?  Figure this using the three APRs you found in Step 1.  If your card
            has an introductory rate, use the rate it switches to after the introductory
       b.)  In that year, how much would you pay total?  How much interest would
            you pay?
       c.)  How long would it take to pay off the balance if you only made your
            minimum payment?  Figure this using a minimum payment of 2% and
            again making a minimum payment of 3.5%.
       d.)  In that time, how much would you pay total?  How much interest would
            you pay?

Step 3:
     Credit cards have been a hot topic in the news lately.  With the new laws
     regarding credit cards, some risks have been alleviated. However, you still
     need to be educated and aware of how the cards work.  Credit card debt can
     be a major problem for college students.  Read the following articles:  "Average
     college credit card debt rises with fees, tuition", "Average Credit Card Debt for
     a College Student", and "Credit card statistics, industry facts, debt statistics".

     After completing the above exercises and reading the articles, do you think
     credit cards are a problem for college students?  Why or why not?  Write a
     paragraph or two summary discussing what you learned from this exercise and
     what you would tell other students about credit cards.

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