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Student Credit Card Debt: The Emerging Crisis in Education Debt Management.

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Presentation on theme: "Student Credit Card Debt: The Emerging Crisis in Education Debt Management."— Presentation transcript:

1 Student Credit Card Debt: The Emerging Crisis in Education Debt Management

2 Agenda The problems and emerging issues The risks for students 60 Minutes II video segment Ways to address the issues Question & answer

3 Emerging Issue Student credit card debt is getting a lot of attention and press lately –Consumer Federation of America press release (2/27/01) and report June 1999 –Representative Duncans Remarks from the Congressional Record 3/28/01 –General Accounting Office report June 2001 –National Public Radio Morning Edition segments Winter 02 –Numerous print and online articles over the last year –Comprehensive book examining Americas credit card crisis: Credit Card Nation: The Consequences of Americas Addiction to Credit by Robert D. Manning

4 Source: Student Aid Transcript Summer 1999 and Institute for Higher Education Policy Survey Student Credit Card Debt Is this a problem? –Majority of students use credit cards responsibly –For some, card use is putting them at risk this number is increasing, rapidly –Credit card debt is not closely monitored by colleges –Over the past ten years, the industry has aggressively marketed to students So, lets look at some of the details...

5 Student Credit Card Debt Why is this a problem? –Most students arent experienced with dealing with debt dont understand the basics of credit debt dont understand that low intro rates change quickly max out limit; often $1,500 or more take out new cards to pay for existing debt dont practice delayed gratification very well dont understand how a bad credit start can impact their lives for many, many years to come

6 Student Credit Card Debt Credit card usage is becoming a big problem for many more college students –83% of undergraduates have at least one card a 24% increase since 1998 –Average credit card balance is $2,327 –21% of undergraduates who have cards, have high-level balances between $3,000 & $7,000 –Students double their average credit card debt and triple the number of credit cards from when they arrive on campus until graduation Source: Undergraduate Students and Credit Cards: An Analysis of Usage Rates and Trends -Nellie Mae April 2002

7 Source: Institute for Higher Education Policy Survey Student Credit Card Debt Characteristics of high-risk use –Average credit card balances over $1,000 –Owning four or more credit cards transferring balances, getting new ones to pay off existing cards –Carrying a balance each month –Using credit cards to charge tuition or fees many college do not allow anymore

8 The Other Pieces to This Puzzle Estimated 39 percent of all students graduate with unmanageable debt (payments more than 8% of monthly income)* –55 percent of African-American students –58 percent of Hispanic students Alternative debt levels are rising –at all institution types, including two and four year public schools *From state PIRGs' study.

9 Emerging Issue Proposed legislation and resolutions were introduced in at least 24 states from 1999 through mid-May 2001 –banning incentives to entice students –requiring written parental consent –protect parents from debt collection –requiring credit vendors to register

10 GAO Report to Congress College Students and Credit Cards –requested by Congress –conducted about 100 interviews at 12 universities and colleges –reviewed and quoted three studies TERI/IHEP, Student Monitor, & Nellie Mae –Report released July 17, 2001 by three Congressional representatives Louise Slaughter (D-NY), John Duncan (R-TN), and Paul Kanjorski (D-PA)

11 GAO Report to Congress Looked at four objectives –advantages/disadvantages –results of key studies –university policies –business strategies/educational efforts of credit card issuers

12 GAO Report to Congress College Students and Credit Cards –provide convenience and security –allow students to establish credit histories –found that students are more likely than other types of credit card users to run up debts they could not pay –college students (with limited or no credit history and income) are charged higher interest rates

13 GAO Report to Congress College Students and Credit Cards –many students do not understand the consequences of incurring excessive debt and making payments late impaired credit rating more difficult and costly to obtain credit –for students who do not manage credit the disadvantages outweigh the advantages –many students pay only the minimum amount due each month, not aware of how much this will cost them in interest and time

14 GAO Report to Congress Interest savings between lowest/highest payment = $1,570; time saved = 75 months or 6.25 years!

15 GAO Report to Congress University/college policies –two of the twelve had relatively restrictive policies based on state law –nine had decentralized policies one area might restrict solicitation, while another area would allow it

16 GAO Report to Congress University/college policies –both university officials and students cited the personal solicitation of college students as causing the most controversy –few universities collected data on why students leave college, but financial concerns are believed to be a big reason

17 GAO Report to Congress Business strategies of credit card issuers –students viewed as good customers, heavily marketed to as a group –use a variety of strategies on campus soliciting, Internet, direct mail –some have arrangements with school alumni or athletic dept assoc, logo use –customize risk management/underwriting standards for college students sometimes adjust terms and conditions

18 Legislation Legislation was pending in Congress –H.R. 184, The college student credit card protection act, 107th Congress amends Truth in Lending Act limit the total credit extended to full-time, traditional-aged college students prohibits increasing the credit limit without parent/guardian consent (when co-signer) Prohibits opening a credit card for a student with no annual gross income or an existing card –58 co-sponsors six from CA, five from Ohio, one from FL –Expired when 107th Congress ended no new legislation currently pending in 108th

19 Legislation Senate bill 891, introduced by Sen. Dodd, called Underage Consumer Credit Protection Act of 2001' –similar to H. R. 184 –would amend the Truth in Lending Act –would require application requirements to issue credit cards to those under the age of 21 co-signer or proof of financial means to pay require completion of financial counseling course –Expired with the close of the 107th Congress

20 Source: Institute for Higher Education Policy Survey The Risks Between 10 - 20% of students are risking unacceptably high levels of debt 33% of students have both student loans and credit cards Many must take on additional jobs to pay debt Many cut back on the number of classes or drop out of school all together

21 Student Credit Card Debt In 1998, Indiana University reported that it lost more students to credit card debt than to academic failure.* *As quoted in a study by the Consumer Federation of America & Georgetown University

22 The Risks Career choices can be limited Some are forced to file bankruptcy A few students, so overwhelmed with debt, have committed suicide

23 60 Minutes II Video

24 Believe It or Not... Recently, all credit card companies were kicked off the University of Louisville campus because one company was giving away racially offensive T-shirts to students who completed credit card applications Some students, so far in debt, have resorted to cyberbegging to help pay off their debts Many young people are filing bankruptcy right out of college due to high credit card and student loan debt (federal and private) –In 1999 over 100,000 persons under the age of 25 filed for bankruptcy

25 Student Credit Card Debt What can be done? –Control credit card vendors and their access to students or ban them altogether –Work with parents to limit student use –Education, offer life skills courses on personal finance management topics –Allow use of starter card, ban others –Provide credit counseling and/or peer counseling for students who get in too deep

26 Student Credit Card Debt What can be done? –Explain to other campus areas the relationship between high credit card debt and failure to graduate enrollment and retention issues alumni issues –Highlight your efforts to control credit card issues at your institution to parents and potential students many parents are becoming aware of this issue and are asking what schools are doing about it

27 Student Credit Card Debt What can be done? –Require credit card vendors to provide educational materials/sessions –Establish a relationship with the local Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) office call 800.388.2227 to be connected to the office nearest you web site: National Foundation for Credit Counseling






33 Other Recommendations For colleges –review current practices for allowing credit vendors, fee structure –prohibit credit companies from offering trinkets to students for completing applications –include credit card and debt education materials in brochures inserted in bags –consider limiting the number of credit card tables allowed on campus –conduct regular debt management sessions Excerpted from: PIRG: Recommendations for Colleges, Students, and Congress

34 Other Recommendations For students –become informed consumers, know what you are getting into –consider risks and benefits of credit card debt, before you apply –one national credit card is all you need –if you must carry a balance, pay as much as you can afford, every month –compare the fees, after intro interest rates, charges, and other hidden costs look beyond low intro rates select the best value Excerpted from: PIRG: Recommendations for Colleges, Students, and Congress

35 Other Recommendations For Congress –do not enact industry-supported legislation, that is unbalanced and puts the student consumer at a disadvantage –require credit card bills to include a monthly calculation illustrating the time it will take to pay off the balance at the minimum amount –prohibit the mailing of unsolicited credit cards, even cards that are not activated Excerpted from: PIRG: Recommendations for Colleges, Students, and Congress

36 Helpful Web Sites National Endowment for Financial Education – National Institute for Consumer Education –(NICE) Credit Card Calculator – The Savvy Student – Public Interest Research Group Tips – –

37 Helpful Web Sites Credit Card Nation – Federal Trade Commission; Consumer Protection Division – Consumer Information – Scholarship, Employment, Job Placement – Scholarship Scams

38 Helpful Web Sites Misc Sites – – – – – – – – p_monthbud.jsp (budget exercise) c.jsp (credit card tips)


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