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COMPANY RESPONDS TO RECENT ARTICLE ABOUT MARETING CREDIT CARDS TO COLLEGE STUDENTS

In an article in the Associated Press, a reporter, Martha Irvine wrote on colleges recent attempts to curb the efforts of credit card companies marketing to students. (see Colleges Try to Curb Credit Cards by MARTHA IRVINE.c the Associated Press) The article noted the increasing flood of phone calls, emails and snail mails going out to students, all urging them to get a credit card. Table marketers offering free sodas, CDs, or T-shirts, all in exchange for signing up, also confront students on many campuses.

Universities across the country have taken note of the problem and have started to ban table marketers. They have also imposed tighter restrictions on access to student email addresses.

StudentCredit.com, the leading online authority in credit education for college students, applauds these efforts. StudentCredit.com was founded on the principle that students should be educated about handling credit before they get that first credit card.

However, some are quoted in the article as stating they feel that students shouldn’t be allowed to get a credit card until they are older, say 25. StudentCredit.com believes that this will not solve the basic problem, which is lack of education. If students do not learn basic credit management skills under the age of 25, they won’t practice them when they finally get that first credit card.

Many financial transactions in this country today require a credit card as proof of identification or collateral. Renting a car or an apartment for example. Furthermore, students who are 18 or over are legally adults, considered in the eyes of the law able to make financial decisions on their own. StudentCredit.com feels raising the age limit for a credit card would just send a contradictory message.

The article does go on to say that some universities, like UC Berkeley, will be adding credit education classes to their required curriculums. StudentCredit.com feels this is a better approach and has used it’s own resources towards education efforts. In past years, the company has worked with a number of schools, including Duke, Clemson, and Cornell University, to distribute over 100,000 free credit education brochures to incoming freshmen.

Last year, the company began airing television commercials on MTV in selected cities. Each of the humorous commercials features an unseen marketer trying, unsuccessfully, to harass and entice students to get his card. Methods include mass snail mails and phone calls in the middle of the night. In each case the students reject the marketer’s advances followed by the tag line: ‘StudentCredit.com: credit when you are ready’. The company plans to expand this ad campaign into other television markets in 2002. These commercials can be viewed by going to the company website.

IS CREDIT CARD USE A PROBLEM AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS?

Nellie Mae, a leading provider of student education loans, recently published their analysis of credit card use by college students. The study found that the number of students with credit cards had risen by over 10%. The study also showed that average student credit debt rose from $1,879 to $2,748 in a two year period.

This would seem to point to a disturbing trend; however, the statistics can be misleading. According to an analysis by the Institute for Higher Education Policy and the Education Resources Institute, the Nellie Mae figures are based on average debt amounts, not the median debt. Their survey showed that approx. 80% of students have credit debt of a $1,000 or less. Their conclusion is that the remaining percentages of students with higher debts are responsible for moving upwards the average debt figures for all students.

Also when one looks at the average debt of the general U.S. population, which is about $6,000 per capita, according to Card Web, student debt does not appear to be as big of a problem as first supposed. The answer to solving any problems with student credit card debt is continued education.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

The emphasis of StudentCredit.com is to provide information for students to learn good credit management skills before they acquire a credit card. StudentCredit.com offers extensive education about credit; how to get credit and maintain a good credit standing. The company web-site features a variety of credit cards the students can apply for at their convenience, not under pressure from a table marketer or a flashy mail campaign. Additional services include a free monthly bill reminder as well as personally answering questions about credit sent in by students.

“StudentCredit.com is a free service that provides a convenient, responsible way for students to learn about and obtain credit. Credit is something the vast majority of College Students are seeking and we felt there was a need for a more educational approach by providing key information and education about good credit,” said David Ogden, CEO.

Founded in 1998, StudentCredit.com is the first website of its kind to offer college students the opportunity to manage their credit. To date, over 3 million students have visited StudentCredit.com and utilized the free services. No other web-site offers the combination of good credit information, services, and variety of cards.

Contact:

Russell Gentile StudentCredit.com 6755 South Tropical Trail Merritt Island, FL 32952 [email protected] (407) 453-2206

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