Illinois Cracks Down on Campus Credit Card Solicitations

Gov. Pat Quinn made a bold move recently when he signed into law legislation that will greatly restrict the ability for credit card companies to market on campus. No longer will students be able to step on campus in the fall and be able to compare credit cards from the major issuers as they vie for new customers.

Colleges and universities have long been very popular places for credit card issuers to market. College campuses have thousands of young adults that are already consumers themselves and will soon be contributing members of the workforce with discretionary income that the credit card companies would love to get their hands on.

The new legislation goes into effect on January 1, 2010 and will prohibit public and private colleges and universities in the state of Illinois from selling contact information of their students to the credit card companies. In the past banks and financial institutions have paid big money to get the names and contact information of students in order to send them credit card offers through both e-mails and traditional mail.

The legislation will also require that any and all organizations that have affiliations with the schools disclose any contracts that they have with credit card companies. This basically means that booster clubs and alumni organizations that greatly benefit from credit card companies paying for contact information for their members must now make those contracts public knowledge.

In addition, the credit card companies will no longer be able to offer enticements such as T-shirts, pizza, frisebees, etc, etc in exchange for students filling out credit card applications. And freshman that do fill out credit card applications must be provided with some sort of financial responsibility education.

Exactly how the credit card companies are going to do educate freshmen on using credit responsibly I have no idea, and I’ll bet that the state of Illinois and the credit card companies don’t know either. It will be interesting to see what they come up with but for some reason I’m betting it won’t be anything to write home about.

Each and every year without fail many students will end up on campus and think that having a credit card or two is a good idea only to soon find themselves thousands of dollars in debt. These new laws are aimed at protecting the students by making credit cards a little bit tougher to access.

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