Of Credit Cards and College

For anyone who thought I had given up my anti-credit card railings … think again LOL  I’ve just been busy studying for my physics test last night and my organic chem test tomorrow afternoon.  While taking a break from studying, I came across this excellent four part series over at Business Week online about credit cards and colleges:

I’m not going to recap these articles because that could end up resembling an e-book LOL  But I do have these thoughts:

  • College students are prime targets for the credit card companies.  I’ve probably mentioned this before, but according to creditcards.com college student credit card accounts have the HIGHEST interest rate…several points above bad credit accounts even.
  • College students are often naive or simply ignorant about personal finance!  Add to that their impulsive natures (especially the guys when it comes to dating) and you have a recipe for financial disaster that too many students seem to be following.
  • I’m really not sure how this can be “fixed” given the options in the 4th article linked above.  Congressional hearings will bring more attention to the problem, just as the last round of hearings on credit card companies’ practices did.  I just don’t particularly like the idea of Congress meddling in things too much, because no matter how good of intentions they may have somehow things always end up a mess.
  • I do think the best option for fixing the problem, which ironically wasn’t mentioned in the articles much, is to educate college students BEFORE they start getting hit by all the marketing.  Teach your kids before high school even that getting into debt over your head is a very VERY bad idea.  I personally am teaching my son that debt in general is a bad idea, with credit cards and auto loans being the absolute worst kind of debt you can possibly get into.
  • These articles don’t even touch on student loan debt…just the credit card debt college students are getting themselves into before they even have a career or in some cases even before they have an actual job!  In fact, I heard on the Dave Ramsey Show recently that more young adults are declaring bankruptcy than graduating from college.

OK, so these articles outline the problem and even suggest some solutions … but it’s still up in the air.  What do y’all think?  Does anyone have a good solution for this growing problem?