A recent study on the impact of the Credit Card Act on students conducted by Jim Hawkins at the University of Houston Law Center, surveyed over 300 undergraduates in November and found that a full 29% of students under 21 who obtained a credit card since starting school this academic year used student loan proceeds as part of the income they reported to card issuers in their credit card applications. If this is true, then it is an outrage. Student loans is not income, it is debt and not designed to fund credit card companies. If credit card companies are allowing students to use their student loans as valid income on their applications, then this practice needs to be banned immediately. The spirit of the Credit Card Act was to protect students from this type of exploitation.
And it is exploitation, when students, many of whom are only 18 or 19 years old are made to believe that their student loan distributions are enough to cover credit card debt . Student loans are designed to help the student to pay for housing, tuition, books, fees, school supplies and other expenses related to going to school or maintaining the basics while they are in school. Credit cards do not fit into that equation.There are many who say that we should not restrict the student’s access to credit because they are adults and have the right and ability to make wise decisions regarding their finances. But that type of argument is made in bad faith. How many 18 year olds understand the mechanics of how student loan debt can quickly entrap them? The truth of the matter is that despite educational programs designed to teach youth about debt, many simply are unable to truly grasp how debt really works. This fact is pointed out quite well by another finding of Professor Hawkins’ survey which revealed that 21 percent of students thought that someone else would pay their credit card debt.