Gregory Starkey, Attorney at Law


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Credit cards and debt not as easy to find for today's students

The beginning of summer is often marked by festive graduation ceremonies across the country. For many high school seniors, this marks the end of one chapter of their life and the beginning of their undergraduate days in a few short months. College orientation used to be marked by new friends, new freedom and often a plethora of credit card companies looking to sign up unsuspecting freshmen.

Free t-shirts, posters and other such swag was all it took for many young people to sign up for a card. Then, by the time they graduate, they would do so with both a diploma and credit card debt. The Credit CARD Act of 2009 attempted to put a halt to many of these practices by making it harder for students to be approved for a credit card. Apparently, the Act is working and fewer college students are acquiring credit cards while in school.

Oftentimes, a person needs a history of income in order to be approved. For many young people, this means they might be declined even if they have a full-time job. This pendulum swing away from easy credit has created some issues for young graduates who need a way to finance their move to a new job, new apartment and other financial necessities of the young professional. But, without a credit card, it is also hard to rack up credit card debt.

While this new development may prevent current college students and other young adults from accumulating credit card debt, there are still millions of Americans struggling with credit card debt. Depending on the situation, filing for bankruptcy may be a good option. Other tips, such as avoiding cash advances and not charging food, can help to keep a person out of credit card troubles.

Source:, "Grads find credit cards hard to get," May 5, 2013

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