Volume 47, Number 8 - December 1, 2009

About the Reporter

Alexandra de Armas
Alexandra de Armas
North Campus Bureau Chief

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Credit card law could affect students

By Alexandra de Armas

After accumulating more than 15 credit cards and about $11,000 in debit, Goffrey Laleau was in financial disarray last year.

Laleau, a 20 year-old aerospace engineer major at the North Campus, is a prime example of what the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act signed by President Obama this past May is trying to protect.

The act, scheduled to start in February of 2010, restricts advertising of credit cards on college campuses and adds limitations to students- particularly those between the ages of 18 and 21- when applying for credit cards.

Under the act, individuals in this age group will go through a more strict process to acquire a credit card. They will have three options to follow: they will need a parent or guardian to co-sign their credit card agreement; they will need to provide proof they have an adequate income to maintain the car, or complete a financial literacy course. 

Those who already own a credit card will not be affected by the new act.

The new restrictions could severely affect students when buying online products, such as books and other materials for school, but there are other options they can consider. 

EBillme.com is a cash-based option students can use while purchasing items on-line.

Samer Forezley, vice president of marketing of eBillme.com, explained that the Web site is easy and safe for students.

“You shop on line, you get a bill via e-mail, you pay that bill, then you get your product mailed,” Forezley said.

Consumers using eBillme.com have three different options they can use to pay their bill: they can pay online through their bank account; they can go to a ‘walk in center’ like CVS or Wal-Mart to pay; or they can use a ‘teen pay program’, which mails the bill to the student’s parents who then pay the bill.

“EBillme.com provides the ability to shop with money they have, instead of risking the accumulation of debt,” Forezley said.

It’s a debt that Laleau knows all to well.  Although he has paid off his debt since last year, he agrees with the government’s decision to implement the new law.

“If you think about it, a lot of college students are in horrible debt right now and the government passing this legislation is more of a good idea than a bad one,” Laleau said. “It’ll keep a lot of college students from putting themselves into deep debt.”

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