Debt Management

It seems like once a week offers for amazing credit cards--"no annual fees!" "low monthly payments!"--arrive in each Harvard mailbox.

If you've replied, you're not alone.

A full 77 percent of undergraduates at four-year colleges and universities have credit cards, according to data compiled by Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. (CCCS), a company that helps students with serious debt by securing them lower interest rates, along with credit counseling.


Credit card companies aren't worrying about reversing the trend. And at college campuses they solicit hard--trying to trap a gnerally conscientious and high-spending population when it is young.

"There's a lot of money to be made, and credit card companies know it," says CCCS President Howard Dvorkin.

No Tough Sell

Add the colorful flyers filling first-years' mail center boxes to those first-years' relative inexperience with budgeting and credit, and you're left with a dangerous combination.

"You go into the mailroom, and kids are getting credit cards from everyone under the sun," says Matthew J. DeGreeff '89, a Greenough proctor and also a financial aid officer. "It's obscene."

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