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Credit card companies banned from on-campus promotions

Boston University students had mixed views on the enforcement of a recent bill that dramatically changed laws on credit terms, interests and fees and also banned the offering of free gifts to college students who sign up for credit cards within 1,000 feet of a college campus.

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act went into effect earlier this semester. The bill address Congress’ proposals that colleges adopt policies of limiting the number of campus locations where promotional events take place.

Some students, like College of Arts and Sciences freshman Kimberly Brunner, said they thought limiting advertising would be helpful.

“A lot of programs trick new college students with deals that sound awesome, and a lot of students end up overusing their credit cards which causes a lot of problems like debt,” Brunner said.

Under-21 consumers will see plenty of changes in the way they sign up for credit cards. If a student isn’t an authorized user on their parents’ credit card account, they must show proof of income to repay card loans.

Students must also have an adult co-signer to have an account in their own name.
While Brunner agreed that credit card companies shouldn’t be allowed to advertise on college campuses, she didn’t like that she had to go through her parents in order to get a credit card.

CAS freshman Kelly Bradley agreed.

“I went to get a credit card but couldn’t because I don’t have any previous credit. It’s pretty stupid. It’s obvious that it’s my first credit card. I’m not going to have any previous credit. I had to go through my dad in order to get one,” Bradley said.

The bill ensured that those with credit cards will receive fewer reward cards and will see the return of annual fees, as well as the new option of immediate paying.

The bill prohibits retroactive interest rate increases on current balances and grants extended time for monthly bill pay. Credit card users will also be able to opt out of changes to service terms in advance of the terms taking effect.

Some students disagreed with the new provisions.

“It’s silly because we’re adults. We’re on our own, we should be able to look around and see what’s offered,” said School of Education freshman Danielle Bowen.

“You can go fight in a war but you can’t get your own credit card. To me, that seems a little ridiculous,” said CAS freshman Luke Savoca.

Reforms also include provisions that would force credit card companies to provide the customer with an estimate of how long it will take to make a payment with the minimum payment each month. They must also show how to eliminate balances in three years.
Though some stipulations of the law appear targeted at reducing risk of student debt, the restrictions on who can hold a credit card and how students can obtain them were a concern to some students.

“This law limits our rights that we deserve as adults,” said Savoca.

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