CFPB: Campus Credit Cards Continue Decline

Credit cards offered in conjunction with colleges, universities and affiliated organizations have continued to decline since the CARD Act was enacted in 2009, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said in a report today.

The number of agreements between issuers and institutions has fallen by nearly 75 percent since then, while the total number of accounts has fallen by more than 60 percent. New account figures also reversed growth and fell by about 10 percent in 2015. The number of issuers in the campus card market remained steady.

The CFPB report also included a lengthy analysis of general marketing agreements between schools and financial institutions regarding prepaid cards and checking accounts, which are subject to rules finalized last year by the Department of Education. Any compliance issues raised by the bureau refer to the responsibilities of the schools, not financial institutions, to comply with DOE’s regulation. That regulation does not apply to financial institutions.

The bureau also issued guidance to colleges and universities reminding them of their obligations to publicly disclose agreements with card issuers. (Issuers themselves are required to report terms of agreements to the CFPB but are not required to post them publicly.) Taking a small sample of 25 colleges, the bureau said that only five disclosed agreements on their websites and of the remainder, only three provided copies of the agreements upon request.

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