Unethical Credit Card Recruitment Strategies on Campus

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Unethical Credit Card Recruitment Strategies on Campus
Mike Martin
Com/156
02/13/2011
Patricia Bille

Credit card companies use unethical practices in their recruitment of college students resulting in long-term debt for many young adults.

An increasing number of young adults are finding themselves graduating from universities saddled with enormous debt. At a time when they should be filled with the excitement of starting their careers, and the promise of eventual job security, some of these hopes are overshadowed because of overwhelming and seemingly insurmountable credit card debt.

Although anyone, at any age can unknowingly fall into the hidden traps of credit debt, college students can make easy targets for unscrupulous tactics by some companies. It can start innocently enough. Credit card company representatives visit college campuses with the goal of recruitment. Specific incentive packages are offered to entice students into at least filling out an application. “These packages can range from free gifts, called “swag,” to offers of low initial interest rates. According to a study released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group 76% of students received Frisbees, candy, pizza, and even IPods to fill out a credit card application.” USA Today (04/04/2008) Credit cards go after college students.

At an age when instant gratification can eclipse common sense, these tactics can be very successful. Credit card companies know this, in fact; invest time and money into researching their consumer targets. They also know where their efforts will yield a long-term commitment and college campuses offer a concentrated and receptive audience. The students receive their free gifts, a credit card and access to cash instantly, along with a high interest rate that was not explained to them. “ Irena Cabrilo got a free lunch during her freshman year at the University of North Texas in exchange for signing up for a credit card from Bank of America...
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