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College Students And Overwhelming Credit Card Debt

Bad college credit?

In all but a few isolated cases, student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. However, this is not the case for student credit cards, which can be cleared of debt under Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Banks and credit card companies are all too eager to cash in on the spending habits of American college students. College students tend to use credit cards indiscriminately, creating a profitable market as far as credit card companies are concerned. Meanwhile, banks use the college years to establish financial relationships with young adults.

The CARD Act, a recently passed motion to limit the marketing reach of lenders to students, established a minimum age at which a person can obtain a credit card. Unfortunately, this did not prevent credit card companies from discovering some very large loopholes in this new law.

For example, the CARD Act specified that people under 18 years old need cosigners in order to acquire cards. While this was intended to refer to parental permission and oversight, college teens twisted the word of the law in some serious ways, having older classmates or fraternity brothers function as cosigners. And all along, this activity was encouraged by those who made their livings selling plastic cards. While the CARD acts was intended to prevent credit card companies from selling their goods on campus, sellers managed to skirt that issue as well.

The evidence is telling: last year, Bank of America spent $62 million for the right to market their credit cards to kids on campus alumni associations. Meanwhile, at the University of Southern California alone, it invested $1.5 million in attracting almost 700 new accounts. Ultimately the total amount invested for all banks to get on college campuses in the past year alone amounted to over $82 million, creating 53,000 new accounts.

If you are a student struggling with credit card debt, bankruptcy can offer you a fresh start. Contact the Law Offices of Mark Buckley to schedule a free initial debt consultation.

About Mark Buckley

Consumer Bankruptcy, Estate Planning, and debt-settlement attorney licensed in RI & MA. I am the only bankruptcy lawyer who is a certified financial planner professional. 

To plan your estate, or resolve debt concerns, call me at (401) 467-6800.