Survey: Widespread Constricting of Credit Lines and Rate Increases
CardTrak specializes in tracking broad based credit card and consumer debt trends.
According to CardTrak, 53.5% of the roughly 1,000 cardholders who responded to the survey in December said their credit card interest rates had increased in 2008. Almost 37% said their credit limits had been reduced, 26.1% had seen some of their credit card fees raised, and 16% said their card issuers had added new fees to their cards.
But the tightening of credit was not entirely uniform. Almost 30% of surveyed cardholders said they had seen their credit limits increased in 2008, and almost 13% said their interest rates lowered.
Overall 23% reported they had little used credit accounts closed by their
College Credit Card Affinity Programs Are Under Scrutiny
NEW YORK -- The practice of credit card affinity marketing and agent issuing with colleges and universities has begun to come under scrutiny, according to an article in The New York Times.
The article in the Jan. 1 issue described how consumer advocates and student associations have been investigating these deals and criticizing them for not being transparent and for leading students to make poor financial decisions.
In these deals, which some credit unions have made as well, the colleges or universities receive a share of the interchange or the finance charges and often a reward for every time a new card account is opened. The cards usually carry the university's logo or brand as well.
In defense of the programs, the article quoted officials from colleges and universities who pointed out that the deals with the credit card issuers were usually with their alumni associations and only tangentially involved student accounts. But the article pointed out that many colleges and universities provide student information to credit card issuers to help the market the cards.