Undergrad Credit: Jobless Students Go High APR Calypso

Why is it that some snot nosed punk can get over $5 million in credit upon being accepted to college but I, a grown adult, can’t get my credit limit raised by a few hundred bucks to fit a Macbook Pro into the slim wedge of non-debt still imbued into my Hustler Store credit card? Ten years of paying my credit card off only when I happen to remember is probably the answer. The sort of muffed financial sense that makes it all the more absurd that I work for an irreverent consumerist blog.

Still, there’s something equally absurd about this article over at Consumer Affairs in which Joan Lisante calculates that her son was pre-approved for over 52 credit cards in his first year of college. Her son’s never held a job — he’s a completely unproven investment. Yet credit card companies are hurling hunks of plastic like dull-edged shurikens at him. And this isn’t an isolated case: everyone who has ever gone to college tends to get a similar surplus of offers.

Of course, offering high interest credit cards to kids with no income is a smart and sleazy investment in itself, virtually guaranteed to hobble a kid’s credit rating when he’s just starting out in life, while simultaneously guaranteeing that a meager debt of a couple grand quickly balloons with overdue charges and a the ballast of a high APR. Scummy. Unfortunately, the vast majority of college students end up getting suckered in. We’re starting to think a talk on responsibly managing your credit should replace the ‘birds and the bees’ talk… which always comes a few years after your son or daughter has figured it all out under the bleachers anyhow.

Plastic Peril: Credit Cards and Students [Consumer Affairs]

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  1. Josh Cohen says:

    Why is it that some snot nosed punk can get over $5 million in credit upon being accepted to college but I, a grown adult, can’t get my credit limit raised by a few hundred bucks to fit a Macbook Pro into the slim wedge of non-debt still imbued into my Hustler Store credit card?

    Because you’re an adult and financially responsible for yourself. Most college students, especially if the credit card companies get to them young, are still able to turn to their parents to bail them out of credit card troubles.

  2. thrillhouse says:

    Credit card companies issue cards to dogs and dead people every year. In addition, their main target, just above the college set, are people who’ve filled bankruptcy. Thats right, people stating that they are a financial failure. Why? 1> they can’t file again and can’t get out of the charges they will no doubt incur and not be able to pay 2> they “have a taste for debt” need I explain that one.

    Credit cards are in no way a measure of financial success. In the case of college kids, they are simply playing off all the myths that they’ve spread, knowing they are too naive to know the truth. CC companies are not interested in knowing that you are capable of paying back your debt (ie – having a JOB), they simply want you deeply in debt for as long as possible so they pile on the fines and fees and jack up the rate.

    Everyone in America should go see MaxedOut when it hits theaters. Don’t miss it.

  3. AcidReign says:

    …..I’ve paid interest on a credit card for only 3 months, and that was when I had a new baby in the house I’d just bought, $800 to my name, it was November, and the furnace blew up. The new unit cost $1700. I paid with VISA, and we ate chicken and peanut butter for the next three months until the debt was paid off! Otherwise, I pay the damned thing in full every month, and it’s a no-annual-fee card, as I did for the dozen years before, and the dozen after.

    …..And now, why is my credit limit is at such a level that if I ever reached it, there’s no way in Hell I’d ever be able to pay it back?!? It’s kind of neat, the abilty to go in and charge a loaded-to-hell Cadillac on your card, but why would they take the risk? Instead of taking the blame for these sorts of risks, the banks instead have used their clout to make credit-card debt immune to bankruptcy proceedings. It’s not cool. And the law needs to be repealed…