Monday, November 23, 2009

College students' credit card debt soars

A comment to a previous post about college students and credit card debt inspired today's post. "Student" writes:
Credit card companies typically employ a very sly tactic in getting college students to register new credit cards. They usually give a very low interest rate for the first year. After the first year, the interest rate will begin to increase. Fortunately, since college students are still very young, their credit cards' limits are a lot lower than their adult counterparts who are in the corporate world.
You're absolutely right, and I'd add that credit card companies use many shady tactics to get students to sign up. In a previous post I wrote about how one of my college hustles was working a table giving away 'free' t-shirts to get students to sign up for credit cards. I got paid in cash and my classmates got shirts they never wore and a mountain of debt.

One thing I will challenge is your statement that students' credit limits are necessarily lower than working folks. It is true that students have lower incomes and should have been given very low credit limits but lending standards were so lax for so long that many students left school with just as much credit card debt as working professionals. College seniors with at least one card last year graduated with an average of more than $4,000 in credit card debt.


Student said...

A student loan is a lifetime obligation until paid, and, just like any other debt, non-payment is reported to the credit agencies. For many students this type of financial arrangement enables them to complete their education and is a necessity. Students must remember that the more people that default on these loans the less there is for others that need it. Don't let it get to the stage where you will have to default, stay in touch with your loan provider. A student loan will not be discharged, even in bankruptcy, except in a case of extreme hardship, but extreme hardship is considered as having no money except for the bare necessities to live. So, before your finances get out of control, consider student loan consolidation now and lower your monthly payments with a guaranteed low interest rate.

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