New guidelines for credit card companies and colleges

September 7, 2010 2:44:22 PM PDT
College students tend to be young and vulnerable and are often easily lured into getting credit cards.

Today the state of New York announced a deal with major credit card companies to protect students and their money.

"Mostly in the mail; they would come right when I hit, like, 20-years-old and it was, like, I couldn't stop them," said Christiana Johnson, SUNY-Westbury student.

In an agreement with SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and all 64 of the State University campuses, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is announced a set of reforms. "And these are the practices we want all colleges to accept."

The student credit card reforms call for colleges to provide financial literacy programs. It prohibits sharing of students' personal information with credit card companies without the student's permission. It means any exclusive agreements between the college and credit card companies must be in the students' best interests.

"Colleges have had incentives to sign up students, and sometimes were signing up students for credit cards that actually weren't the best credit cards for the students," adds Cuomo.

There is a required limit for on-campus credit card marketing, and colleges may not share profits on finance charges by credit card companies.

Antoinette Murray is trying to repair her credit score, due to her card use.

"They don't really educate you. They just give you the credit and tell you to go spend," said Murray.

Some students are prepared to make better choices.

"A lot of people these days, they haven't received enough information. That's why they attack the freshmen, so I don't want to be one of those people," adds Jackson.

Students Eyewitness News spoke to are quick to agree that having all of the accurate information about obtaining credit cards is the best way to avoid future credit problems.