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Free money for broke people

Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2007, at 1:57 PM

I have a bone to pick with the credit card industry and I figured where better to pick it than here.

It absolutely appalls me the way credit card companies target young people.

From the day I turned 18 the offers started pouring in. Starting college was even worse.

This specific targeting of college students is just simply wrong. These leaches try to latch on to the part of the population trying to better themselves and once they have you they are there forever.

I used some very poor judgment during college in regards to credit cards and other things of the like and I'm certainly paying for it now.

What I've done is my own fault and that's fine, but I thought this would be a good place to warn others.

These credit cards and student loans DO have to be paid back and they WILL follow you for the rest of your life.

There's nothing like getting calls at 7 a.m. on Sunday from collection agencies, being afraid to answer the phone and not even being able to buy a car.

What I personally would like to see is a minimum age limit on credit cards of 25 years old. I hate seeing (and being) people who have their entire lives dictated by stupidity during high school and college.

People do need to take responsibility for their actions, don't misunderstand me. I would just like to see credit card companies and collection agencies governed tighter.

Spending 15 years making the minimum $15 payment on a $500 credit card doesn't sound like much, but when it becomes 7 cards and they triple your limits, in a big hurry it can cost more than many home mortgages and still not make any progress towards paying the debt off.

What do you think? Have any of you had nightmare experiences with some of these companies?

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Why is it when you get a credit card at 18,it seems to be the only time your low credit score means nothing?

I think credit card companies should use the same or even tougher standards to give cards like the banking industry does for qualifying for home mortages! I agree there should be age restrictions.

I feel I was unfairly targeted,and I don't think my information should have been sold by either my campus or Sallie Mae.I never signed up for any cards, and yet they began arriving at my correct dorm address within my first week of school,up to 30 a week! After a month of relentless bombardment,I foolishly accepted one until my parents found out and hit the roof,I had only charged $237.12,which was the exact amount of my Christmas present.I did learn that my credit score was the key to adult happiness or misery.

It sucked at the time,but with all the expenses I have now,it's a priceless lesson. I really could not afford paying off credit cards too! The 24 year old me is slightly more responsible than the 18 year old me!

Corey-don't those privacy statements we sign to start school mean anything?

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Wed, Sep 5, 2007, at 2:42 PM
Corey Noles' response:
The question about the privacy statements is intriguing. While schools insist they won't sell students names, I have a hard time buying the idea that they don't. How else would these companies know who they're targeting? All of the offers I received during that period had student stamped all over them.

I'm on a major push right now to get rid of some of those old debts and finally making some genuine progress. Good luck to the rest of you dealing with these same problems. Maybe we need a support group?

I suppose our have-it-now society is in part to blame. Instant gratification. Capitalism at its worst, I fear. I wish I had known more about managing money when I went to college. I'd like to see high school students taught about finances in a way they'll understand.

Back in the day, kids had to work for stuff like new clothes, cars, etc. Now, mom and dad more than likely hand it to them on a platter. Guess as long as that continues, the credit folks will be licking their chops.

-- Posted by scotswoman on Fri, Sep 7, 2007, at 1:16 AM

Agree- an age limit would be a really good idea. And if it had been in place I wouldn't be having the problems I'm having now. I foolishly bought into the whole thing, and like you, I'm paying for it now. If I could turn back time!

-- Posted by vambfly on Thu, Sep 13, 2007, at 8:45 AM

I've noticed that depending on the school you go to also determines the limit. A better school will land you larger limits.

-- Posted by Carlin may be right on Thu, Sep 27, 2007, at 2:29 AM
Corey Noles' response:
That's interesting. I didn't know that, but it makes sense. I suppose they would give more money to a Wash. U. student than to a TRCC kid.

Regardless I think something needs to be changed at the legislative level in this aspect. At 18 I wasn't half as smart as I wanted to think I was and had no foresight. The idea that this credit card debt would follow me wasn't even a thought.

I have read the posts about credit card companies and I am wondering if anyone has simply asked, verbally and/or written the credit issuer to desist from calling them?

I believe there is a law in the Fair Credit Bureau that prohibits calls for collection after a certain hour or day.

I am pretty sure that, if contacted, the creditor must comply with your wishes.


-- Posted by scorpio on Fri, Oct 26, 2007, at 10:11 AM

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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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