Consider the following statistics from the Nellie Mae organization:
- 76% of undergraduate students have at least one credit card, with an average balance of approximately $2,100.
- 92% of graduate students have at least one credit card, with an average balance of approximately $8,600.
- Only 20% of students pay off their balances each month.
- The majority of students signed up for credit cards because of a direct mail solicitation they received.
There’s no doubt that credit card debt among college students is soaring. There’s also no doubt that the credit cards they used were acquired impulsively and without much thought.
While it is hard to keep the credit card companies from setting up booths at the local pub, it is easy to keep the offers out of your student’s mailbox.
The four primary credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, Innovis, and Transunion) all provide the names of potential customers to the credit card companies for a fee. They also allow anyone who does not want to receive solicitations and junk mail for credit cards to have their name removed from the lists they sell.
They have set up a website just for this purpose called OptOutPreScreen.com. The website is completely secure and requires about 60 seconds to opt-out of receiving any offers for a five year period. If you want to opt-out for life, there is a printable form that you can send in.
Do yourself or your college student a favor… Keep the credit card offers out of your mailbox. Doing so will invariably lower the cost of college that you or your student carries into post-college life.