As credit card companies ramp up their offerings to college students across central Missouri, some students at University of Missouri say they plan to avoid credit cards altogether.
Senior Josh Witmer said he plans to avoid getting a credit card for as long as possible until he has a full-time job.
??I never wanted money to be buying things with anyway, except for food and rent and things like that, Witmer said. ??I just feel like it??s better if I wait until I am in a better position.??
Ryan Law of the University of Missouri??s Office for Financial Success said over the past several years, he has noticed the number of MU students signing up for credit cards is on the decline.
??When I used to ask how many people have credit cards, it was very common for every student to raise their hand,?? Law said. ??Now when I ask, it??s about 50 percent of the students.??
??That??s not just freshmen, that??s up through the college years,?? Law said.
Law said the decline can be partly attributed to fairly new rules governing how credit card companies can interact with students. He said when the Credit CARD Act of 2009 went into effect in 2010, credit card companies were banned from marketing credit cards within 1,000 feet of college campuses.
??Not as many students are receiving credit card offers anymore, because there are restrictions on who can receive credit card offers. But, credit card companies are still very aggressive when it comes to getting in front of students and trying to get them credit cards,?? Law said.
Law said credit card companies will partner with local businesses that are outside of the 1,000 foot exclusion area. However, some students are still cautious to sign up at all.
According to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, the average college student comes out with around $4,000 in credit card debt.
MU Freshman Zachary Davis said he uses his credit card conservatively for that reason. ??I want to have a high credit score so that I can actually get a good rate, a decent r ace for buying a house or something like that,?? Davis said.
Law said the best way to minimize credit card debt is to make a budget and stick to it. He also said students should read any credit card agreement carefully before signing up.