» By Isabella Davis
Here at APSU, students have the ability to open what is known as a Campus Card with U.S. Bank. Through this program, students can turn their student I.D.s into debit cards, but some are worried this will lead students further into debt.
In 2009, the United States Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act. This act was passed with the goal of protecting the American student credit card holder through a number of regulations and provisions.
The act makes it impossible for anyone under the age of 21 to get a credit card without an adult co-signer or proof of regular income. The act also added more regulations on soliciting and issuing credit cards on college campuses.
Because of this act, banks and firms across the country have changed their strategies, relying on the I.D. debit card to secure college-aged card holders.
According to a report issued in May by the U.S. Public Research Interest Group, over 900 colleges and universities have partnered with different banks and financial firms in these dealings.
These 900 schools now have over 9 million students equipped with a debit I.D.; that’s over 2 out of 5, or 42 percent, of students nationwide.
The report goes on to explain U.S. Bank has the most agreements with schools, holding 52 contracts from different colleges and universities and having over 1.7 million student customers.
It is also the only bank in contract with APSU.
While the Campus Card offered at APSU can only be used as a debit card with a PIN number and cannot function as a credit card, the PIRG still firmly believes connecting your student I.D. with a checking account from any bank is a big risk.
By enticing students to sign up with the idea it will make their lives easier, the banks, and often the universities involved, earn more money through the fees they place on these accounts.
Many banks and firms charge the students an exorbitant amount of fees, such as “per-swipe fees, inactivity fees, high overdraft fees and more,” the PIRG said.
However, American Banker Magazine believes although there are many financial institutions that rack up their fees, there are still banks which treat the students fairly. U.S. Bank is said to be one of these institutions.
“The offers that U.S. Bank has for students are just as good as those offered to graduates. And judged purely in terms of fees, they’re cheaper than products offered by Higher One, the lead player in the industry,” said American Banker Magazine.
According to the U.S. Bank website, U.S. Bank Campus Cards charge no monthly fees and allow four fee-free non-U.S. Bank ATM transactions per month.