The college credit card trap

Source: New York Times (Free Registration)

Add this to the list of the country’s financial woes: Credit card companies are aggressively targeting college students, many of whom are naïve about money matters and vulnerable to predatory offers that can get them permanently mired in debt. According to an eye-opening survey by the United States Public Interest Research Group, or U.S. PIRG, which is an advocacy organization, some students reported receiving hundreds of credit card offers in a year. The report also described how companies lure cash-starved students with gifts of clothing and free food. In one flagrant case in Ohio, students who showed up for the food were required to fill out credit card applications before they could eat. A half-dozen states have placed restrictions on how credit cards can be marketed at public colleges. Congress is considering sensible bills that would restrict the amount of credit and the number of cards that students could be offered.

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