Student credit cards and young credit

Personal finance predictions for 2010: Your kids

10.Your spending
9.Your credit card
8.Your debit card
7.Your rewards
6.Your phone
5.Your paycheck
4.Your home
3.Your mail
2.Your ID

How will young adults obtain credit in the new financial landscape?

The Credit CARD Act and its crackdown on campus card promotions will likely have a chilling effect.

“Young adults have never really been the focus of direct marketing activity, and now with more restrictions in place, there could be fewer offerings for this particular demographic,” says Andrew Davidson of Mintel Comperemedia.

Even the measly 1 percent of credit card offers targeted at those under 25 have dwindled recently. Chase and Discover haven’t pitched to students since 2008; Bank of America ceased its student mailings in the spring of 2009.

Davidson says efforts by the FDIC to convince major banks to offer low-dollar loans to young adults have yielded little results so far.

Renewed consumer interest in co-signed cards are seen as a way to steer students away from less desirable alternatives such as payday lenders. Davidson says prepaid cards that offer a line of credit may be another avenue for some cash-strapped young people.

Still, there are bright spots: MetaBank, the largest player in the student prepaid market, added a rewards program this year and American Express recently unveiled Zync, its new youth-oriented card with customizable rewards and a modest $25 annual fee.

“Signs are that the major card issuers are not ready to give up on the young adult market yet,” says Davidson.

2010 financial countdown home:2010 Financial Predictions

See related:A comprehensive guide to the Credit CARD Act, Fed tells issuers to stay far from campus, Co-signed cards: Are they poised for a comeback?, American Express unveils Zync

What’s up next?

In Student credit cards and young credit

Students, credit cards and the new reform law: The fine print

Credit cards and college students: How new law changes marketing of, access to credit cards for young adults.

Published: September 30, 2009

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: September 18th, 2019
Cash Back

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.