The CARD Act stipulates that credit card companies cannot give a credit card to youth 18 to 21 years old unless they have a co-signer or sufficient income to pay for any debts they may accrue on the credit card. However, could giving credit cards to 18 to 21 year old who is most likely just working minimum wage jobs be just another loophole for credit card issuers to get access to this vulnerable youth population? If we know anything about the credit card industry, we know that it's unlikely they will ever pass up an opportunity to exploit a loophole or a customer. Below are a few of the problems with giving credit cards to youth who work in the computer lab or the local fast food joint:
- Most individuals 18 - 21 years old, who are working, do not work jobs that offer sufficient income. And if we leave it up to the credit card companies to determine what sufficient income is and how it should be defined, we could be facing more of the same when it comes to the problem of youth being overextended on debt.
- Most youth in this age group do not have a concept of what it means to have a credit card and that this money must be paid back even if you no longer have your job. Giving this age group credit cards without mandated education about credit cards is unethical and could have longstanding financial ramifications for the young person taking on the credit card obligation.
- Young people in this group have financially unstable lives. While they may have a "good" job that pays a few dollars an hour over the summer or during the school year, what happens when they take that internship in Europe or study abroad? The credit card obligation does not go away and if they fail to pay, their credit rating could be ruined.