Consumer Payment Card News

Students & Cards

A new survey has found that about half of college students max out their credit cards some or most of the time. The research also revealed that nearly six out of ten students never pay balances in full or pay in full less than half of the time. The OppenheimerFunds study, conducted by Smith College, determined that the average credit card debt among the respondents was $2,400 with 14% owing more than $5,000. Female students are more likely to have credit card debt (67% female vs. 59% male) and a larger credit card debt burden. Nearly 11% of women surveyed report credit card debt of $3,001-$5,000 compared to 7% of men; the same percentages hold true for debt of $5,001-$10,000. Sixty-eight percent of women use more than one credit card compared to 59% of men and college women are 50% more likely to carry five or more cards than men. The survey also found that most college students use their credit cards to pay for day-to-day living expenses instead of long-term needs. While textbooks and school supplies was one of the top expenditure categories (52%), another 22% indicated that they used credit cards to pay for tuition and fees. Other popular expense categories for which students use credit cards include personal items (58.5%), car expenses (55%) and groceries (46.7%). Among the many suggestions offered to students by OppenheimerFunds is to skip the lattes. If you eliminate two $3.50 lattes a week for the 35 week school year, you will save $245.00 which can grow to $28,180 by age 65 (assuming an 11.12% return in the S&P 500 Index.

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