ABC Links Credit Card Companies to College Suicides
Credit card companies â not irresponsible borrowers â are to blame for the debt that college students rack up, according to ABCâs âGood Morning America.â Consumer correspondent Elisabeth Leamy reported June 26 that lenders use âdeceptive tacticsâ to âlure college students inâ and even tried to link suicide to that debt.
âDozens of schools including Georgetown University here have banned credit companies from their campuses over the past decade. So the card companies have gotten more creative â some say sneakier â in how they lure students in,â reported Leamy.
Just how âsneakyâ have they gotten? Credit card companies are using the âdeceptive tacticâ of giving them an irresistible offer: sandwich coupons.
Leamy showcased a student from the University of Illinois who fell victim to this enticing trap. The student took the free coupon, âbut when she got to the restaurant, just outside the University of Illinois, Chicago, campus, there was a catch. She had to apply for a credit card in order to get the free lunch.â
Leamy also advertised a documentary called âMaxed Out,â which included the mothers of two college students who, the film said, âkilled themselves over credit card debt.â A âGood Morning Americaâ graphic asked, âAre companies preying on students?â
Only Nessa Feddis of the American Bankers Association pointed out that college students, most of whom are 18, should be responsible for themselves. âAt 18, people are allowed to enter into contracts, theyâre allowed to get married, theyâre allowed to vote, theyâre allowed to sign up for the Army,â she said. âThey should be allowed to have a credit card and not have the government intervene.â
But rather than encouraging self-discipline and responsible borrowing, Leamy turned to government regulation as the solution.
âOne bill before Congress would try to address the issue by capping credit card limits for students at $500 or 20 percent of the studentâs income,â said Leamy. âAnother would set limits for people under 18. They would have to prove that they have an independent source of income to repay the card or that they have taken a credit counseling course.â