I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

Are you thinking about applying for a credit card? Student credit cards are becoming more and more popular, but what are the advantages and disadvantages of these credit cards?

HELPFUL TIP: Having a credit card is almost essential in our lives today, but be sure to seek advice on what credit card is best for you. You want to avoid debt at all cost because it will always try to be an unwelcomed friend.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

I. Listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play Audio” button and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. According to the conversation, which item did the woman NOT purchase with her credit card?

A. a digital camera

B. a TV

C. a stereo
2. What is one reason to explain why the woman obtained a student credit card?

A. She wants to buy things at a discount using the card.

B. She hopes to establish a good credit rating.

C. She doesn’t want to borrow from her parents.

3. According to the man, what is one reason for NOT having a credit card?

A. People generally have a difficult time getting out of debt.

B. Students often apply for more credit cards than they need.

C. The interest rates on student cards are very high.

4. What does the woman imply about how she plans on resolving her credit card problems?

A. She hopes that someone will give her the money.

B. She plans on getting rid of her student credit cards.

C. She is going to return the items she purchased on the card.

5. What is the man going to do for the woman to help her manage her money?

A. help her find a better paying job to cover her expenses

B. teach her how to prepare a financial management plan

C. show her how she can apply for low-interest student credit cards

Score =
Correct answers:

Man: Hi, Sis. I just came over to drop off the DVDs you wanted, and . . . Hey, wow!? Where did you get all of this stuff?
Woman: I bought it. So, what do you think of my new entertainment center? And the widescreen TV . . .

Man: Bought it?

Woman: . . . and my new DVD player. Here, let me show you my stereo. You can really rock the house with this one.

Man: But where did you get the dough to buy all this? You didn’t borrow money from mom and dad again, did you?

Woman: Of course not. I got it with this!

Man: This? Let me see that . . . Have you been using Dad’s credit card again?

Woman: No, silly. It’s mine. It’s student credit card.

Man: A student credit card? How in the world did you get one of these?

Woman: I got an application in the mail.

Man: Well, why did you get one in the first place?

Woman: Listen. Times are changing, and having a credit card helps you build a credit rating, control spending, and even buy things that you can’t pay with cash . . . like the plane ticket I got recently.

Man: What plane ticket?

Woman: Oh yeah, my roommate and I are going to Hawaii over the school break, and course, I needed some new clothes for that so . . .

Man: I don’t want to hear it. How does having a student credit card control spending? It sounds you’ve spent yourself in a hole. Anyway, student credit cards just lead to impulse spending . . . as I can see here. And the interest rates of student credit cards are usually sky-high, and if you miss a payment, the rates, well, just jump!

Woman: Ah. The credit card has a credit limit . . .

Man: . . . of $20,000?

Woman: No, no quite that high. Anyway, . . .

Man: I’ve heard enough.

Woman: Did I tell you we now get digital cable with over 100 channels? Oh, and here’s your birthday present. A new MP3 player . . .

Man: Yeah. Oh, don’t tell me. Charged on the credit card. Listen. Hey, I don’t think having a student credit card is a bad idea, but this is ridiculous. And how in the world are you going to pay off your credit card bill?

Woman: Um, with my birthday money? It’s coming up in a week.

Man: Hey, let’s sit down and talk about how you’re going to pay things back, and maybe we can come up with a budget that will help you get out of this mess. That’s the least I can do.

Key Vocabulary [Top]

Listen to the key vocabulary and sample sentences

  • stuff (noun): miscellaneous items
    – His room is filled with stuff he bought on his credit card.
  • dough (noun): informal for money
    – He didn’t have enough dough to buy the TV, so he borrowed money from his brother.
  • in the world: used to emphasize something you say
    – Why in the world would you buy an expensive TV if you didn’t have enough money?
  • rating (noun): a measure to show how good something is
    – You should look over the ratings for MP3 players before you buy one.
  • over (preposition): until
    – You should look over the over for MP3 players before you buy one.
  • spend yourself in a hole (idiom): spend too much that leads to heavy debt
    – Some people spend themselves in a hole because they can’t control their shopping habits.
  • impulse (noun): a sudden desire
    – You can let your impulses to buy stuff get in the way of good common sense and judgement.
  • sky-high (adjective): very expensive
    – Prices for houses in this area are sky-high, so I’m going to look for an apartment for the time being.
  • ridiculous (adjective): absurd, silly, without good reason
    – Spending more money than you earn is ridiculous and can lead you to major financial problems.
  • pay back (phrasal verb): return money you owe
    – Could you lend me $20 if I pay you back by the end of the week.