In case you missed it, the CARD Act of 2009 went into effect on Monday. Among other things, the new legislation aims to curtail the marketing of credit cards to college students and others under the age of 21.
More specifically, the CARD act requires colleges to disclose any marketing agreements they may have with credit card issuers, perhaps by just posting the info somewhere on their website. Moreover, “tangible items” (a.k.a. free stuff such as gift cards, t-shirts, etc.) cannot be used to induce students to apply for a credit card within 1, 000 feet of campus.
The CARD Act also prohibits credit card issuers from extending credit to anyone under 21 unless there is an over 21 co-signer or the young applicant can demonstrate and independent means of repaying their debts (though this requirement might not be very effective).
This all begs the question of whether or not these sorts of protections are a good thing. It’s a bit like the military/drinking age thing. If you’re old enough to serve the country, shouldn’t you be old enough to have a beer? The same logic could easily be applied to credit cards.
That being said, I don’t have any real problem with protecting college students from their own stupidity when it comes to finances. What about you? What do you think about these age-related restrictions?