For the past several years, federal agencies, lawmakers and consumer advocates have shared their displeasure with the rather cozy relationship between the financial industry and higher education institutions and set out to protect consumers from the often shady deals made between the two groups. Now the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is setting out to protect students by creating a scorecard that would help ensure colleges have all the pertinent details when it comes to partnering with financial institutions that offer checking and prepaid accounts to students. [More]
All around the country, new and returning college students are being handed IDs they can use as debit cards or they’re being told they can have their aid disbursals deposited straight onto a school-branded card. It all seems incredibly convenient, especially for those who have limited experience handling their own finances, but these school-backed banking products are rarely the best available options for students, who could end up being nickel-and-dimed into debt.
Last year, a group of around 15 credit card issuers paid a total of more than $50 million to various schools and school-affiliated organizations in order to market credit cards to people at those educational institutions. Around 70% of that money came from a single Bank of America-owned credit card company, and though hundreds of schools received some sort of payment for helping introduce cards to college students, just the 10 largest single payments account for nearly 30% of the $50 million. [More]