ARLINGTON, Va. – Despite concerns that college students may not have the knowledge or responsibility to use credit cards responsibly, many card issuers have pressed forward with marketing efforts aimed at college students. Now there is more evidence that the cautionary voices may have been right. A new survey has found that about half of college students max out their credit cards some or most of the time. The research also revealed that nearly six out of 10 students never pay balances in full or pay in full less than half of the time. The OppenheimerFunds study, conducted by Smith College, determined that the average credit card debt among the respondents was $2,400 with 14% owing more than $5,000. Female students are more likely to have credit card debt (67% female vs. 59% male) and a larger credit card debt burden. Nearly 11% of women surveyed report credit card debt of between $3,000-$5,000, compared to 7% of men; the same percentages hold true for debt of $5,000-$10,000. Roughly 68% percent of women use more than one credit card compared to 59% of men and college women are 50% more likely to carry five or more cards than men. The survey also found that most college students use their credit cards to pay for day-to-day living expenses instead of long-term needs.

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