Credit Cards Companies | Making A Buck On The Backs Of Students

By Kevin Yeung - Choate Rosemary Hall - NextGenVest Club Director - Wallingford, CT

Even during the sluggish economy, college students remain as the primary target for credit card companies. By traveling onto college campuses and offering freebies to students, credit card issuers hope to rope in uninformed students into the realm of credit card owners. Often times, the two or three dollar freebie is enough to attract the uninformed receiver. It is because of the occasionally uninformed student who ends up in thousands of dollars of debt before he or she graduates that fuel the vigorous desire for college card applicants. Due to the number of college students who graduate with debt, credit card representatives should be prohibited from stepping foot into campuses.

One of the many victims of this scandal was featured on a broadcast of CNN Money in November of last year.  She is 23-year-old Tamaira Shaw, a graduate of the University of the District of Columbia. She randomly received a prepaid card during her junior year with a $500 limit and “took it as a license to spend.” With her new instrument of payment, she purchased clothes, textbooks, and a new cellphone, quickly maxing out her card. “Her mother is still helping her pay off the balance - plus hundreds of dollars in finance charges and fees.“

Lucky for Tamaira, her parents were capable of paying for her mistakes. Many other college students are faced with similar situations with nobody they can turn to for support. The unfortunate ones must somehow juggle their tuition, daily expenses, and debt payments with a low paying part time job. Often times, the debt payments are beyond manageable, inflicting their credits with serious long-term consequences. With bad credit, staples of adult life such as cars and houses will become a hassle to purchase. That one petty mistake a person makes when he or she was twenty could ultimately become a bigger burden decades later.

Is it worth placing this financial weight onto our future generations and risking another financial crisis?