Washington, DC (PRWEB) August 27, 2012
As the nation’s college students head back to school, and with a growing number of them planning to use credit cards during the school year, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and the nation’s more than 7,000 community banks want to encourage students to be responsible when using their credit cards so they can maintain their finances and establish solid credit.
“As college students work toward their professional goals by obtaining educational degrees, we urge them to also consider their financial future and the role that credit plays in helping them achieve their personal and professional goals,” said Jeff Gerhart, chairman of ICBA and of Bank of Newman Grove, Neb. “The fact is that no one may ever need to see your transcript after you leave school, but your credit report will be with you for the rest of your life.”
New rules governing credit cards aimed specifically at protecting students went into effect in 2010. According to these rules, credit card companies are prohibited from issuing cards to anyone under the age of 18, and those under 21 need either an adult co-signer or proof of income. Educational institutions must disclose any agreements they have with credit card companies that market to students, and credit card companies may no longer entice students with free gifts. All other provisions in the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act that cover consumers—such as advance notice of changes, more time to make payments and terms that are easier to understand—apply to students as well.
Even with these safeguards, the best protection against getting deeply in debt is knowing the pitfalls and how to avoid them. ICBA offers the following tips to help students use credit cards wisely:
“If students want to learn more about credit cards and how to manage their credit, they should talk to their local community bank,” Gerhart said. “Community banks are common-sense lenders that provide credit cards as a valuable service to their customers.”
The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 7,000 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit http://www.icba.org.
# # #