Credit Card Debt Among College Students

2385 words - 10 pages

The explosion of credit card use among college students has woven itself into the fabric of campus life ultimately impacting how students interact and begin in the financial industry. As students gain more freedom away from home they often begin to experience various social changes. One area in particular that is cause for concern is the number of students incurring credit card debt. Due to growth in credit card usage and the rise of debt, the ideas discussed in this paper represent the growing need to evaluate credit card company solicitation efforts aimed at students and how to begin negotiation to amend these practices. Through mediation, the focus will be to investigate if college students receive ample education on credit and financial literacy. Concessions will be centered on finding a consensus solution that will work for the credit card industry and young consumer. Ultimately the negotiations seek to strike a balance that will create positive spending habits, implement a change in industry policy, and decrease the burden of debt that many college students find themselves in.
As young people begin their transition into university life there is reason to suggest that the lack of financial literacy provided through public or private education has caused an increase in debt for the demographic. However, credit card debt is not a new social issue and does not find its origin with college students. Debt among Americans has steadily grown as more people rely on credit cards. These habits have provided an example to younger generations, which has shaped how money is managed. Given that money is often viewed as promoting security, status, and power many issues arise over debt specifically related to newer spenders.
Additionally, other causes at the forefront of the issue include the rise in educational costs in the United States and a “buy now, pay later society where credit flows freely in the direction of young people who have very little experience with handling finances” (Norvilitis & Santa Maria, 2002). The later idea suggests that one of the major conflicts associated with credit card debt among college students is because of the relaxed view taken on credit. To illustrate, “83% of college undergraduate students in the US have credit cards…”(Wang & Xiao, 2009) exemplifying the potential danger of accruing debt by signing up for so manu credit cards. Furthermore, with increased costs of education, universities find it is acceptable for students to pay for tuition by credit card. In certain circumstances, credit cards have become a quick remedy and students are forced to supplement income to pay for education and other necessities and as a result perpetuate the debt issue.
Since credit cards have become easily accessible on campuses, students can find themselves in financial distress very quickly. The conflict with credit card use is that it has created a distinct way to generate instant gratification among consumers, specifically young...

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