There are many dangers with students obtaining credit cards. Young people are extremely susceptible and vulnerable to advertising, and many credit card companies prey on this fact. Students in college are usually already in debt because of student loans and funds used for tuition, school supplies, food, and room and board. Adding debt from credit cards can lead to an insane amount of money that they owe after only a short time. In an article from bankrate.com, there is a list of possible reasons why students accrue debt from credit cards, including “the extension of unaffordable credit lines, increasing education-related expenses, peer pressure to spend and financial naiveté.”
The Dangers of Debt
There are great risks attached to getting into debt. A website from the securities division says that debt can lead to depression, heart attacks, insomnia, explosive emotions and even raise your chances of succumbing to suicide. These symptoms affect students by impacting study habits, performance in school, and completion of their degree. Students are often so distressed by their increasing amount of debt that they neglect their studies to take on more hours at work or drop out completely to help pay the bills. The SEC website also notes that “students with credit card balances in excess of $1,000 drink more, smoke more, use more prescription drugs for depression and have lower grade point averages than those who don’t carry credit card debt.”
These factors could affect as many as one-fifth of students at four-year universities with a debt of $10,000 or more (according to a study by Robert Manning and the Consumer Federation of America.) Not having good credit can impact almost every area of your life—bad credit will be noticed by landlords, when you’re trying to buy a car, a house, or even by potential employers. Your entire education, and later your career, can be impacted by the debt you accumulate.
Because of these disturbing aspects of credit card debt, it is even more alarming that credit card companies are allowed to target cash-strapped students when they’re at school. Colleges are often given money by these companies in exchange for having open access to students on campus. The Bankrate article says that more than 300 universities have banned credit card companies from their campuses.
Also, to help the problem of students in debt, colleges should help with classes they can offer that educate students on how to balance their budget. This might make students more aware of the many dangers that can go along with credit card debt. The Bankrate article also suggests that parents help inform their children of the financial matters. They recommend that parents “discuss annual percentage rates, teaser rates, late fees, over-the-limit fees and minimum monthly payments.” Maybe if students were more aware of the risks, they would be less likely to spend money they don’t have.