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WASHINGTON – University students, on the whole, have lower credit card balances than adults of comparable age who are not students, according to a study that examined thousands of card accounts. The study’s authors consider it groundbreaking because, they said, it is the first time student credit card use was studied in a national way and did not require students themselves to report the data. The Credit Research Center, which is a research organization affiliated with Georgetown University’s McDonough Business School and partially funded through industry grants, examined over 300,000 active credit card accounts, representing both student and non-student accounts that were active during a 12-month period in 2000 and 2001. The study found that student accounts’ average balance of $552 was roughly a third of the $1,465 average balance carried by non-student adults of the same age. It was one-fourth the $2,342 average balance carried by adult cardholders, the survey found. Students’ credit lines were also found to be lower than that of other cardholders. The mean credit line for student cards was $1,395, compared to $3,581 for non-student account holders and $7,426 for adult cardholders.

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