"The College Credit Card Trap." A couple of days ago, the New York Times had an editorial piece with that headline. The lead paragraph read thusly:
Add this to the list of the country’s financial woes: Credit card companies are aggressively targeting college students, many of whom are naive about money matters and vulnerable to predatory offers that can get them permanently mired in debt.
The lead did its job. I continued to read.
The opinion piece (link here) went on to describe an "eye-opening" survey that was conducted by United States Public Interest Research Group, or U.S. PIRG, an advocacy group. In the survey, the advocacy group detailed the lengths to which credit card companies will go to lure college students into applying for credit cards. Unfortunately, the New York Times did not provide a link to the survey.
Curious, I decided to find the survey on my own. I couldn't find anything called "the college credit card trap," but I did find a U.S. PIRG survey called "the campus credit card trap." But the publishing date was March 2008. Could this be the same survey? It turns out that it is.
Listen, I'm not complaining. I'll take my credit news wherever I can find it. But I would have appreciated this survey, and its results, a whole lot more if the New York Times had alerted me to it seven months ago. Indeed, had I not been inquisitive, I likely would have thought that the survey was more recent (no more than a month old). I'm now left to wonder: why is the New York Times only now bringing this survey to my attention? Must have been a slow news day or something. Nothing else can explain it.
Meanwhile, I am not pretending as though this survey is fresh. Instead, I'm highlighting the survey because it is chock-full of interesting information -- even if it is some seven months old. If you have the time, and didn't catch it back in March, you might want to give it a read. The full report can be read here (link here).