Consumer Payment Card News

Students and Plastic

The current crop of college undergraduates apparently has their credit act together. A new study, based on credit bureau data and a student survey, reveals that student credit card balances have declined more than 7%, and that the number of credit cards in student wallets has dropped nearly 4% since 2001. The Nellie Mae report found that the average outstanding balance on undergraduate credit cards fell to $2,169 last year, and the average number of credit cards per undergraduate student declined 4.09 cards in 2004. Seventy-six percent of undergraduates in 2004 began the school year with credit cards, an 8% decrease from the 83% with cards reported in 2001. Undergraduates reported freshman year as the most prevalent time for obtaining credit cards, with 56% reporting having obtained their first card at the age of 18. Twenty-three percent of undergraduate students carried a balance of more than $3,000 in 2004, compared to 27% in 2001. More than half of the undergraduates with credit cards carried balances lower than $1,000. Twenty-one percent of undergraduates with credit cards reported that they pay off all cards each month; 44% say they make more than the minimum payment but generally carry forward a balance; 11% say they make less than the minimum required payment each month. For more information visit: “http://www.nelliemae.com”:http://www.nelliemae.com

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