Blog

New Credit Card Rules Aim to Limit Student Debt

Oct 6, 2009

by Scholarships.com Staff

The Federal Reserve Board proposed new regulations last week that would prohibit creditors from issuing credit cards to anyone under 21 without the consent of that applicant's parent or guardian, or proof that the consumer would be able to make the required payments on their own. Those rules would amend some of the provisions in the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, a bill passed by Congress last May that, among other things, would hinder credit card companies from getting college students to sign up for offers at on-campus booths.

You know you've seen it before - the free T-shirt that you probably wouldn't wear, but was appealing anyway because it was free. All you had to do was sign up for a credit card. An article in The Chronicle for Higher Education when the bill was first moving through Congress described college students as the most targeted population when it comes to new customers for credit card companies.

Critics of the bill then said that college students, who take on a slew of new responsibilities once they get on campus, should be treated as adults. And during a time when students are more apt to use credit cards to pay for college expenses, they shouldn't meet obstacles when using their credit cards for college expenses. According to a recent survey by student lender Sallie Mae, 84 percent of undergraduates have at least one credit card; 92 percent of those undergraduates use the cards toward college expenses. College students' average balances are more than $3,100.

So what's the bigger problem? Having access to credit to pay for college expenses, or preventing college students from accruing large sums of debt?

Credit cards should be used as the last line of defense, and ideally for emergencies only. There are many options out there for you to find money for college that have nothing to do with being faced with high interest rates and exorbitant fees. Do your research to apply for college scholarships and grants that would result in free money to cover your college expenses. Consider a part-time job on campus if you have the time and can balance work and college. And while not as desirable, investigate low-interest student loans to supplement your financial aid package.

If you need to use credit, make sure you're keeping within a manageable budget, and only charging as much as you'd be able to realistically pay off at the end of the month. The decisions you make now will matter post-graduation, and any decision involving opening a new line of credit should be approached with caution. Stick to one card if you need one, and if you find yourself in debt, pay off as much as you're able to each month until you're done. (Don't be using that card while you're trying to pay it off, though.) Browse through our site to see more tips on budgeting, how you can avoid mounds of credit card debt, and how to keep your credit card score healthy.

The new regulations would go into effect after Feb. 2010, but the public, credit card industry and others will have a chance to voice their opinions beforehand. Other rules proposed by the Board included:

  • Limiting high fees associated with subprime credit cards.
  • Prohibiting increases in a credit card interest rate during the first year after an account is opened, and increases in a rate that applies to an existing credit card balance.
  • Requiring creditors to obtain consumers' consents before charging fees for transactions that exceed their credit limits.

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Comments (0)

Congress Working on Credit Card Legislation

Apr 30, 2009

by Scholarships.com Staff

Student loans and credit cards make up the two most dangerous, and often difficult to avoid, debt traps for college students.  While some amount of borrowing for college can make life easier for students, too much debt can make life nearly impossible for graduates.  The same goes for credit cards.  Having a card is great for emergencies and your credit rating, but running up a large balance while in college can really hurt, especially for students who were approved during days of easy credit and are now seeing rates soar and credit limits plummet.

However, Congress is working to make things easier for current credit card holders and also to make the choice of whether or not to open a credit account less nerve-wracking for new college students.  Legislation in both the House of Representatives and the Senate seeks to create a "credit card holders' bill of rights," curbing confusing and predatory practices by banks issuing credit cards.  While the bills have received bipartisan support, including a ringing endorsement from President Obama, there is still some concern about possible backlash in the form of even more stringent credit requirements for people who want to open credit card accounts.

Still, picking up a poorly screen printed t-shirt along with a new line of credit with an 18+ percent interest rate is a campus tradition unlikely to be missed by many.  With college students' credit card debt still on the rise as of 2008 and relief from private loans still nowhere in sight, any new consumer debt protection will likely be welcomed by many college students and recent graduates.

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Comments (0)

College Students' Credit Card Debt Increasing

Apr 16, 2009

by Scholarships.com Staff

While an increasing number of college students received financial aid in the 2007-2008 academic year, that calendar year students also ran up more credit card debt.  The average college student owed $3,173 on credit cards in March 2008, compared to $2,169 in 2004.  This information comes from the student lender Sallie Mae, which has been tracking students' credit card debt since 1998.

The study also found that student credit card debt increases with grade level.  The average freshman owed $2,038 on credit cards, while the average senior owed $4,138.  The money is not just being spent on beer and pizza, either.  According to a supplemental survey by Sallie Mae, the vast majority of students (92 percent) report charging at least one educational expense, such as books, to a credit card.  This figure is also higher than in 2004, as is the percentage of students charging tuition to a credit card, which now stands at nearly 30 percent.  Students reported charging an average of $2,000 in educational expenses to credit cards.

Higher tuition, a poor economy, and difficulty finding private loans may have already pushed these numbers higher for 2009.  With high interest rates and the need to begin repayment immediately, credit cards are one of the worst ways to pay for school.  Scholarship opportunities and federal student financial aid should definitely be explored before students resort to charging tuition to a card.  A variety of grants and scholarships, as well as low interest student loans, can help students avoid credit card debt while in college, and keep their debt from consuming their entire salary when they graduate.  Before you reach for the plastic to pay your campus bills, spend a few minutes doing a free scholarship search.  You may be very glad you did.

Going to college doesn't have to break the bank or saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Check out the Scholarships.com free college scholarship search where you’ll discover you qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships in just a few minutes, then apply and win! It’s that easy!

Comments (0)

< 1 2 
Page 2 of 2

Recent Posts

Tags

ACT (20)
Advanced Placement (24)
Alumni (17)
Applications (90)
Athletics (17)
Back To School (80)
Books (67)
Campus Life (471)
Career (115)
Choosing A College (65)
College (1023)
College Admissions (255)
College And Society (327)
College And The Economy (379)
College Applications (152)
College Benefits (291)
College Budgets (219)
College Classes (451)
College Costs (500)
College Culture (609)
College Goals (389)
College Grants (54)
College In Congress (90)
College Life (588)
College Majors (227)
College News (618)
College Prep (167)
College Savings Accounts (19)
College Scholarships (160)
College Search (122)
College Students (486)
College Tips (132)
Community College (59)
Community Service (40)
Community Service Scholarships (28)
Course Enrollment (19)
Economy (122)
Education (29)
Education Study (30)
Employment (42)
Essay Scholarship (39)
FAFSA (55)
Federal Aid (101)
Finances (70)
Financial Aid (418)
Financial Aid Information (60)
Financial Aid News (58)
Financial Tips (40)
Food (45)
Food/Cooking (28)
GPA (80)
Grades (91)
Graduate School (56)
Graduate Student Scholarships (21)
Graduate Students (65)
Graduation Rates (38)
Grants (62)
Health (38)
High School (134)
High School News (76)
High School Student Scholarships (185)
High School Students (320)
Higher Education (115)
Internships (526)
Job Search (179)
Just For Fun (122)
Loan Repayment (41)
Loans (50)
Military (16)
Money Management (134)
Online College (21)
Pell Grant (29)
President Obama (24)
Private Colleges (34)
Private Loans (20)
Roommates (100)
SAT (23)
Scholarship Applications (164)
Scholarship Information (179)
Scholarship Of The Week (271)
Scholarship Search (220)
Scholarship Tips (88)
Scholarships (405)
Sports (62)
Sports Scholarships (21)
Stafford Loans (24)
Standardized Testing (46)
State Colleges (43)
State News (36)
Student Debt (86)
Student Life (513)
Student Loans (142)
Study Abroad (68)
Study Skills (215)
Teachers (94)
Technology (111)
Tips (514)
Transfer Scholarship (17)
Tuition (93)
Undergraduate Scholarships (37)
Undergraduate Students (155)
Volunteer (45)
Work And College (83)
Work Study (20)
Writing Scholarship (19)

Categories

529 Plan (2)
Back To School (381)
College And The Economy (524)
College Applications (263)
College Budgets (352)
College Classes (582)
College Costs (773)
College Culture (951)
College Grants (134)
College In Congress (135)
College Life (1008)
College Majors (344)
College News (958)
College Savings Accounts (57)
College Search (403)
Coverdell (1)
FAFSA (117)
Federal Aid (136)
Fellowships (24)
Financial Aid (716)
Food/Cooking (79)
GPA (281)
Graduate School (109)
Grants (75)
High School (555)
High School News (263)
Housing (175)
Internships (580)
Just For Fun (239)
Press Releases (16)
Roommates (143)
Scholarship Applications (227)
Scholarship Of The Week (347)
Scholarships (609)
Sports (77)
Standardized Testing (61)
Student Loans (227)
Study Abroad (62)
Tips (863)
Uncategorized (8)
Virtual Intern (560)