Federal laws designed to reduce debt for consumers under the age of 21 have worked somewhat, but young adults are still acquiring credit cards by exploiting loopholes in the laws.
Just 49 percent of students between the ages of 18 and 20 had credit cards in their name in 2010, down significantly from 76 percent the year prior, but those that do have them likely acquired them by circumventing federal law, according to a report from Harlingen, Texas, television station KGBT. For example, the new rules mandate that young adults provide proof of sufficient income to pay for their cards, but not that the bank verify the claims before putting them on the path to credit card debt.
In addition, while those who do not provide sufficient income do need to have a co-signer that's over 21, there is no requirement for who the co-signer is, meaning it could be a roommate or friend, rather than parent or guardian, the report said.
Recent studies have found that the average college student these days is graduating with thousands of dollars in debt and several credit cards in their name, and may need to find a way to get out of debt fast.