The following is from the Oct. 15, 2007, edition of The Dallas Morning News

Groups do more to prevent students' credit mistakes

The Dallas Morning News

A new Texas law that prohibits credit card companies from offering college students gifts or other incentives in exchange for completing an application just got added muscle with the launch of a national campaign to eliminate aggressive credit card marketing on campuses.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer organization, and several groups representing university officials have teamed up to combat what they say is unfair credit card marketing to college students.

"College students are vulnerable; they're already hammered by the high costs of education," said Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG's consumer-program director. "Credit cards can seem like a solution, but they can be a trap."

He said credit card companies are targeting college students with enticing teaser offers for low-cost credit cards that turn into a "trap" with high fees and penalty interest rates. . .

At Southern Methodist University, the school has an exclusive agreement with Bank of America to provide banking services for students.

"In the beginning of the year, they work with students to get a local bank account and, if needed, a credit card," said SMU spokesman Robert Bobo. "As a part of our agreement, they teach students how to manage their finances wisely, including the dangers of credit card debt."

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