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Credit Cards and College Students

By Nivine Richie

Credit card companies used to find new clients by advertising on college campuses. But the rules have changed:

From US News & World Report:

Banks have long feasted on unsuspecting young adults by offering them t-shirts, food, and other “free” knick-knacks in exchange for filling out credit card applications. The consequences, of course, were about the same as if cigarette companies were packaging toys with their cartons; the act-now-face-consequences-later attitude of most young adults set them on the road to debt for years to come, resulting in a lucrative source of interest and fee revenue for credit card issuers.

This was supposed to come to an end with passage of the CARD Act, since the legislation expressly forbids banks from handing out tangible items to students who fill out credit card applications, on or near college campuses. It also requires that anyone under 21 who applies for a credit card demonstrate that they have sufficient income to cover the minimum payments.