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Study: CARD Act fails students

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Friday, April 27, 2012
Posted: 3 pm ET

The federal government's effort to protect students from credit card debt isn't making the grade.

A new study shows that 2 in 5 students surveyed saw credit card issuers give gifts to students while the Credit CARD Act was in effect. The act specifically banned credit card companies from giving gifts, such as free pizza, to students in exchange for taking an application.

Give that effort an "F."

The study also found that more than a quarter of students younger than 21 are getting around the income requirement enacted by the act by listing loans as income on a credit card application.

The act requires anyone under 21 to give proof of income or have a co-signor to get a credit card. The goal was to keep young adults from racking up thousands of dollars in debt they couldn't pay back.

Let's give that effort a D, only because 3 out of 4 students didn't put down loans as income.

The more stringent age requirement hasn't kept issuers from trying to woo the under-21 crowd, either. The study found that more than two-thirds of students under 21 received credit card offers in the mail last year.

There was a slice of hope: The number of credit card offers students received in the mail decreased in 2011 from 2010.

The study included surveys of more than 500 students in the past two years. The highlights of the study by a University of Houston Law Center professor were released Tuesday. The full study will be published later this fall.

Do you think the CARD Act did enough to protect students? What do you think of it overall? Has it changed your experience with credit card companies?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron.

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4 Comments
name in picture
May 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm

When you buy discounted gift cards, you can often save up to 35 percent off of the original face value of the card. This makes it much cheaper to buy than actually going out and getting an item to give instead.