Credit Smart

Back-to-school credit guide 2017

Summary resources for shopping, learning about credit and managing debt during the back-to-school season.

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Back-to-school guide


It’s still the middle of summer, but many parents and students are already thinking about – and shopping for – the 2017-18 school year. In fact, according to Deloitte’s 2017 back-to-school survey, 71 percent (approximately $19 billion) of back-to-school shopping happens during July and August.

Back-to-school remains the second biggest consumer spending season for retailers, according to both Deloitte and the National Retail Federation. Overall, families will spend even more on back-to-school expenses this year than in 2016. For the 2017-18 school year, individual households will spend an average of $682.73 on back-to-school expenses, according to the 2017 National Retail Federation’s annual back-to-school survey. That amounts to $29.5 billion total spent on school supplies and related costs for K-12 students, up from $27.3 billion in 2016.

estimated household spending on back-to-school from NRF

When combined with projected back-to-college spending totals, American consumers will spend a whopping $83.68 billion on school expenses this year overall, according to National Retail Federation estimates.

While the bulk of back-to-school shopping will happen in stores, online shopping continues to increase in popularity. Deloitte found that more than two-thirds of back-to-school shoppers will use both online and brick-and-mortar retailers to make their seasonal purchases.

Whether you are a parent getting ready to foot back-to-school bills or a young adult heading off to college, this collection of credit-oriented articles and videos will help you spend and use credit wisely this back-to-school season:



Back-to-school shopping


Back-to-school tax free weekends for 2017
Sixteen states have tax-free weekends that allow you to buy a wide range of school supplies without paying sales taxes. When is yours?


Reward Credit Card Reviews

Students and credit cards


Student card survey 2017: Offers, terms more generic
Cards marketed specifically to college students continue to dwindle, but those that remain offer academic incentives and rewards.


Student Credit Card Reviews


Payment security


Protect your child’s data, privacy at school: 5 tips
Cloud-based storage technology used in many schools puts data about your children onto remote servers. Here’s how to safeguard that information.


Financial literacy


Video: 4 ways students can build credit
New college students and recent graduates: Now is the time to build a credit history so you can qualify for a car loan, rent an apartment and achieve your financial goals.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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