College Students Wise-up About Credit Cards

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Posted: December 1, 2011
College Students Wise-up About Credit Cards

A once booming market for credit card companies, college students are starting to weight their options more when it comes to credit. Due to increase federal regulations and the growing popularity of debit cards, students applying for credit cards these days are drastically down. According to the Student Monitor Financial Services Study, around 40 percent of college students had credit cards in the own name in spring 2011, which is down 57 percent a decade earlier.

While learning budgeting skills and what it takes to build good credit is important for students, having them graduate without serious debt is a greater concern. More and more employers are looking at credit scores when you apply for a new job. This allows them to understand how the applicant manages money and develop their own opinion.

Credit card companies used to market their products and services to college students through elaborate advertising campaigns and giveaways on school campuses of items such as T-shirts, electronics and memorabilia. This aggressive marketing tactic caused a large number of undergraduates across the US to own a credit card in 2008, and the average balance was more than $3,000. The US Government put a stop to this practice in 2009, and made it harder for students under the age of 21 to obtain a credit card without a co-signer or financial stable enough to make the payments.

Because of all of this, the number of marketing agreements between issuers of credit cards and colleges, alumni associations and other groups with university affiliations is on the decline. Banks are looking for new ways to get into the wallets of college students.

There are still some good options for college students looking for credit cards. The Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Card for College Students, which doesn’t need a co-singer, offers 5% Cash Back on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations, convenience stores & utilities (including cable) for 6 months; 1% thereafter. And the Journey(SM) Student Rewards from Capital One® offers 1% cash back on all purchases and 25% bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay your bill on time.


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