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College students using credit cards less

Thanks to a new federal law regulating credit card companies as well as the challenges of difficult economic times, the number of students in New Jersey and across the nation using credit cards has steadily declined for the last three years. A survey administered by Fannie Mae shows that the number of students in the United States using credit cards dropped from 42 percent in 2010 to 35 percent in 2012. Further, 33 percent of respondents stated that they had open accounts but no credit card debt.

While not having a credit card may delay the rate at which an individual can build his or her credit, many students are wary of the temptations that having a credit card brings. Some students are afraid that having a credit card and the easy access to funds that it confers will compel them to live beyond their means. Additionally, parents are discouraging their children from signing up for cards due to uncertainty in the job market, even for those with college degrees.

The Credit Card Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 is likely also having a measurable impact on reducing credit use in younger people. In addition to increased regulations regarding disclosure, lenders are now only able to offer credit cards for those under 21 who have a co-signer or an independent source of income.

It is all too easy for college students to end up with enormous credit card debt on top of their student loan debt. Individuals who have amassed credit card debt may feel overwhelmed, but they have viable options for making a fresh start. A knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney may be able to provide information and guidance regarding the bankruptcy filing process.

Source: Washington Times, “College students more wary of credit card debt,” Joshua Eferighe, April 1, 2013

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