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The Credit CARD Act of 2009 is now officially in effect, and if you’re a college student you may be feeling the effects sooner rather than later. As of Feb 22nd 2010, anyone under 21 who goes to apply for their own credit card is required to have an adult co-sign or to show proof that they have an income and are able to repay any debt they might incur.
When I was in college (which actually wasn’t that long ago) I was always surprised at just how easy it was for me to get a credit card in relation to a car loan or even a student loan. I actually had two student credit cards and always used them responsibly, mainly just to build credit. Unfortunately, I was surrounded by people who weren’t nearly as responsible when it came to financial matters.
Fast forward a few years and many of my college friends were heading into the real world with a huge burden already on their shoulders, a massive amount of credit card debt.
Although I agree with the marketing restrictions of the CARD act, I’m not sure how effective this will be in reducing this huge and often overlooked problem we have on every college campus. What may seem like irresponsibility on the part of the college student is actually quite often a lack of financial education.
If we really want to combat student credit card debt, more money needs to be put into educating our youth about responsible credit use, and the dangers of irresponsible spending.
While in college I was lucky enough to always be financially savvy and fairly responsible. The real problem is that many college students aren’t either of those things, and that is a true recipe for disaster.