How’s this for a hotly debated topic: Should credit card companies be punished for soliciting to youth and college age students? There’s many an argument out there in favor of punishing these companies for “hard-selling” their product to ignorant youth. I’d wager that there’s probably just as many arguments saying that these companies have no control over if someone misuses their credit card and gets in over their head in debt. After all the credit card company only provided the loan – it was the recipient who used more than they could easily repay. I tend to agree more with the second position. There’s only so many excuses that one can make for their lack of sound financial responsibility. I say it’s about time that we stop blaming everyone else for our own mistakes.
Hard Marketing – Hard To Say No?
I’ll not pretend that these credit card issuers don’t try to hard sell their products to students. Being a student myself I’m aware of the different attempts that marketers will make in trying to promote their credit card. They tout its features and even offer free gifts just for filling out and signing a credit card application. While I don’t necessarily agree with these hard marketing tactics I don’t feel that it is the root cause of so many college-age kids getting into too much debt. It may be hard to say no to these marketing tactics. I’ve had difficulties in the past saying no. It seems like such an easy way to get a free t-shirt or maybe a concert ticket. Not saying no, however, doesn’t automatically cause the applicant to have unmanageable debt. They do that to themselves.
Financial Illiteracy Rates Must Be Through The Roof
Why is it that financial education is so unimportant to so many people? It’s hardly taught in formal educational institutions. It’s sometimes taught by parents, but oftentimes so many parents are illiterate themselves. It’s not like the information is just completely unavailable though. With the mainstream appeal and availability of the Internet it’s easy to learn just about anything you could ever want to learn about. You’ve got sources such as traditional news sites, financial blogs and even education websites. With so much easy access to information there really isn’t an excuse for students – or anyone else – to be so ignorant. I strongly believe that personal finance should be taught at educational institutions. Children should learn at a relatively early age what makes the world go round and how to use it (money) to their advantage – rather than to their disadvantage.
Don’t Blame Anyone But Yourself
It’s obvious that a huge number of college-age youth are disadvantaged on strictly financial terms. After all why else would a College Freshman sign up for a credit card and be approved for a $2,000 dollar limit, only to have that card maxed out within a year and have no way of repaying it. It’s ludicrous. Sure maybe the credit card companies shouldn’t have solicited to someone with such little income. That’s a completely different issue though. If you don’t have the means to repay a loan – and credit cards are loans – then why would you borrow?