A problem that many states have shared is college students being the target of special marketing campaigns specific to credit cards. In many states, this has become such a huge problem for a variety of reasons that Attorney Generals and Governors are getting involved. For the state of Connecticut, this has reached such a serious height that the Governor, M. Jodi Rell recently signed a bill stopping college students from being encouraged to open a Connecticut credit card account.
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This new bill is designed to regulate marketing strategies specific to college students, as well as restricts collection actions on a Connecticut credit card that would typically be taken by a collector against the student’s parents. Students going to college are overloaded with classes, study time, trying to pay bills, possibly having rent or car payments, and so on. Therefore, being offered numerous options for a Connecticut credit card simply puts these students in a worse position, one possibly to fail.
For credit card companies, banks, and credit unions that target college students, the new bill for this state is actually quite strict. In fact, new rules are now in place whereby credit card companies in particular have to follow firm rules regarding when they can market a Connecticut credit card to a college student, where this type of marketing can be done, and how the marketing strategy would be designed.
This new law for a Connecticut credit card just went into effect January 1, 2010, which requires that Boards of Governors of Higher Education have to accept and put the law into action. This means credit card companies would have to register first with the college or university they want to target. Some of the other laws that go with this new bill to protect students with a Connecticut credit card include the following:
- Students cannot be targeted for any marketing campaign of a Connecticut credit card during registration periods for class or times of orientation
- Any company or financial institution marketing college students must first distribute literature such as proper management of a Connecticut credit card account
- Students cannot be offered any type of gift or incentive such as travel discounts, free admission to concerts or sporting events, etc.
- Any student opening a new account for a Connecticut credit card under the age of 21 must have an adult co-signor, preferably a parent
- Any promotional items being used in the marketing strategy for college students such as free food, tee-shirts, CDs, etc must be available to all students on campus not only those applying for a new Connecticut credit card
- The college or university is never allowed to sell or share the names, addresses, and phone numbers of college students to any credit card company, bank, or credit union
Additionally, the new laws that have gone into effect in the state of Connecticut are now allowed to collect debt from any parent of the student with a New Connecticut credit card unless the parent has first provided in writing his or her liability for such debt.