Credit card companies on campus marketing


Campus students should not be allowed to have credit cards, because it has adverse effects on them. It is difficult for a person who does not have a credit history, as well as who is not employed, to obtain a credit card, which is unsecured. College students offer a unique market to credit card companies as they have many advantages. Their market is untapped, thus offering a great opportunity for potential growth. Most campus students spend their money on many items and expect their parents to help them out of debt (Frederick, 2007). Lastly, credit companies want to establish relationships with the students early enough. This will ensure that in the future, the credit card company benefits from brand loyalty, which is extremely strong. In turn, it makes it easy for the company to sell other credit-related product. This means that credit card companies are only in business to benefit themselves.

This paper seeks to give an analysis of the reason why campus students should have credit cards. This is because they are bound to incur serious problems in the future.

Analysis of the disadvantages of campus students having access to credit cards

The approach being used by credit card companies to attract campus students is extremely enticing. The students are meant to believe that payments for purchased items can be made in the future, without any hustles. The students, in turn, accumulate high amounts of debt and they will experience the repercussions when they seek employment, or after they have graduated (Frederick, 2007). The credit card companies should not market themselves to campus students, as this is a violation of the practices of underwriting. This is because they are meant to consider factors such as income, debt-to-income ratio, as well as credit history. Many young adults, who have graduated from college, are forced to file for bankruptcy. Others are forced to stop going to school since they cannot be able to afford their college fees. It is difficult for the campus students to start life easily when they are heavily indebted. Campus students, who have credit cards, usually have a low score on their credit, which is not attractive or beneficial.

Banks have gone to extreme levels to ensure that campus students obtain credit cards.  They are becoming extremely creative and aggressive in their marketing efforts. Some have formed relations with alumni’s of different colleges, through partnerships, which are exclusive, making their business even easier than before. Other banks are sending their representatives to areas around where college campuses are located. This is a strategy meant to ensure that they target their market, without having to violate any campus rules. There is evidence to prove that the marketing strategies used are efficient. Tables within the vicinity of college campuses are responsible for marketing to students and the percentage is at 76%.The latter, is according to the Public Interest Research Group in the United States after it conducted a study on this vital matter.

In order to ensure that the students are attracted to the stands and tables, free gifts are offered. It has been found out that the most common gifts are t-shirts. Other banks go to great levels to entice the campus students even more. Some of the prizes include iPods, pizza, and candy, among others. To add to this, in order to be given these gifts, they just have to fill up an application to obtain a credit card.  Some states have come up with laws that restrict the manner, which credit card companies, market to campus students. This is according to an article in USA TODAY in the year 2008. The restrictions have instead made the companies search for ways to become more aggressive in their marketing. Some of the strategies being used are going to locations, which are off campus, phone calls, as well as emails (the Chu, 2008).

The extreme measure undergone by banks makes one wonder whether they are indeed ethical in their practices or not. The number of partnerships between colleges and banks offering credit cards has increased. The associations are with athletic and alumni groups and it includes the largest and best universities and colleges. The campuses are also benefiting as they earn millions of dollars, which benefits them in many ways. In return, the latter has to provide the banks with vital information regarding student information, which is normally not accessible to third parties. The banks are given access to exclusive campus events, where they can market their credit cards.

As a result of the partnerships between the banks and the colleges, the ID cards also have debit card functions. Many universities all over the United States are embracing this concept, according to USA TODAY and the figure is approximately two-thirds. Some of the biggest universities in America are embracing this change (the Chu, 2008). Colleges are benefiting as they are obtaining state funding, which is beneficial to them. People are distressed about this matter because the students suffer in the long run, due to increased high debt. The interest rates charged on the credit cards are high, and the students who buy expensive items suffer the most.

The marketing done by the banks makes one believe that the credit cards are heaven sent. The strategy used is that the earlier and more times the credit card is used, the more credit points the student will have. They are promised that in the future, they will be able to buy homes, cars, and other important items (the Chu, 2008). There is a problem, which accrues as a result of having a credit card. It is easy to spend unwisely if one has a credit card, without having to worry about the repercussions in the future. Campus students may use their credit card for shopping trips, purchasing food at the cafeteria, among other things. After some time, the credit card limit ends and the student is left in debt, with no way to pay, as they do not have a job.

Research has found out that there are unprecedented levels of credit, which campus students are being offered.  In the first week of college, most freshmen are enticed with offers on credit cards, approximately eight of them. Every week, half the student population in the different campuses fills up applications for credit cards. Students become owners of credit cards when they are on campus and own many credit cards after they have graduated. This means that their debt is increasing at a high rate (Frederick, 2007).


In conclusion, students should be aware that companies dealing with credit cards only seek to benefit through the money they make. The companies benefit when the students are involved in excess debt, and thus make huge profits. It is a belief that by having a credit card, one can purchase as many items as they wish, but this is not true. Campus students should be wise enough to know the disadvantages of having credit cards if one does not have an income. More should be done to ensure that credit card companies do not have access to students, who are on campus.


Chu, Kathy.  (2008). Credit cards go after college students. USA TODAY. Retrieved from

Frederick, M. (2007). Should credit card companies be targeting college students? HELIUM: Where knowledge rules. Retrieved from

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