11 Aug Card Issuers Target Teenagers
Over the past year, my two unemployed, college student sons have received a total of 60 unsolicited credit card offers. “Pre approved”, “Confirmed” , “0%”, “Cash Back” the envelopes shouted.
I started an casual experiment last August: I saved every credit card offer that came to our home for my sons, who were both away at college. They were 20 and 22 at the time; neither had a regular job. All the card issuers knew was we had a zip code in a prosperous area.
In a year, we got 3 and a half pounds of enticement to a life time of debt targeted at the young. That’s more than a card offer a week for one son or the other.
As the offspring of a bankruptcy lawyer, my sons knew the dangers of credit card debt. They’ve heard me talk about my experiences over the dinner table for years. They lead a plastic free life, thus far. But you can assume that other young people took the bait. I draw a couple of conclusions from this experience: card issuers are indiscriminate in their marketing and it must work, if they continue doing it.
There was much discussion of the issue of responsible lending surrounding the consideration of the bankruptcy bill in 2005. Unfortunately, nothing came of the discussion in the way of curbs on marketing debt as rite of passage to adulthood.
Cathy Moran, Esq.
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