[Listening Medium] A Student Credit Card – KEY

Pre-Listening Exercise

Student credit cards are becoming more and more popular, and a number of Web sites can provide information on comparing your options. With these ideas in mind, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using credit cards, particularly for people your age and in similar financial situations?


dough” = informal for money
I need more dough to pay off my credit card bill.”

have money to burn” = have a lot of money
Sara’s dad always gives her a big allowance, so she has money to burn.”

Listening Exercise

A. Listen to the recording and answer the questions.


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 a 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 of 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 like 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.


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): during 
    – You shouldn’t travel over the weekend because the weather is expected to be terrible.
  • 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.