Credit card canvassers now skeptical of broke students, decrease credit lines

Each year credit card companies invade college campuses across the nation, enticing broke college students with access to money they do not have. These creditors come bearing everything from t-shirts to free food, in an effort to get students to apply for credit cards. Hopefully this year will be different. The failing economy has changed the approach, leaving many banks and creditors unsure of granting credit after facing a flurry of consumer defaults. To protect themselves from these defaults, companies like American Express and Bank of America, are decreasing credit lines and closing inactive accounts. Debbie Whitson is the assistant vice president for the local National City Office. She acknowledges the shift and explains that National City has created an account directed at college students, that allows them to build credit with less risk of defaulting.’ ‘The card gives students a credit line around $200 to $300,’ Whitson said. ‘Giving them a lower credit line results in lower risk.’ Students with no established credit are afforded this option in hopes of becoming responsible consumers in the eyes of lenders, she said. Dave Kielmeyer, the University’s senior communications director, said the University has given greater emphasis to educating students on money management. ‘We offer money management courses for students on campus and have a money management program that’s pretty widely respected,’ Kielmeyer said. ‘We have to help students understand money management and credit.’ Other educational tools are readily available, consumers just need to know where to look, he said. Josh Smith is a personal finance blogger for He talks about a new program aimed at the younger generations. ‘ ‘I recently wrote about a new program called ‘FoolProof.’ This is a free program that lets schools teach personal finance at a high school and college level,’ Smith said. ‘It is also available for parents to use to teach their children about finance.’ The main advice given: The information is out there. Do the research. Know your options.