ERIC Number: ED454785
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Jun
Consumer Finance: College Students and Credit Cards. Report to Congressional Requesters.
D'Agostino, Davi M.
In response to a request from the House of Representatives, employees of the General Accounting Office conducted structured interviews with about 100 officials at 12 universities and colleges around the United States about several issues related to college students and credit cards. They also reviewed three studies of credit card use by college students and interviewed officials from consumer groups and representatives of credit card issuers. The report focuses on credit cards students have in their own names, not those cosigned by another individual, typically a parent. Credit cards were generally perceived as advantageous to college students, but there was concern about the risks they present for this group. College students appear more likely to run up bills they cannot pay because of their inexperience with financial matters. Credit card debt combined with student loan repayments and other expenses may make a substantial repayment burden for students. The studies reviewed showed that the majority of college students had at least one credit card in their name, and some already had credit card debt. One study that reported actual credit card balances from credit reports for a sample of loan applicants showed that 78% had credit cards, and carried an average balance of $2,748. These students were not necessarily representative of college students as a whole. Certain credit card issuers marketed to college students because they expected students to continue to use the cards in a responsible way. University policies about credit card solicitation on campus varied widely. The evidence suggests that credit card use may indeed be a problem for college students. Six appendixes contain a discussion of the scope and methodology of the study, reviews of state legislation and studies of college students and credit cards, the card issuer code of conduct, a letter used in the survey, and a list of contacts and staff acknowledgments. (Contains 2 tables and 14 figures.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC.