CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - When it comes to being a college student, money is almost always tight. When it is, students will oftentimes turn to the possibility of getting a credit card to get extra money, while not entirely understanding the consequences of high-interest debt without a source of income.
That is what an Illinois House Committee is trying to help students avoid by pushing a bill that would ban credit card companies from marketing on college campuses in the state. The bill has passed in the committee and is currently moving through the legislature.
Darrell Dunham is an attorney in Carbondale who sees many bankruptcy cases that start with taking out credit cards without the funds to pay the bills. He said he finds this to be particularly risky practice for college-aged individuals.
"Unfortunately you've got other young adults age 19 - 20 that still have some maturing to do that don't understand money borrowing," he said.
Although, with kids of his own, he said credit cards can be very useful in emergencies.
"Maybe you get a kid that is driving across country and has car trouble," he said, "Maybe needs to have a transmission replaced and it's very nice to have a credit card to take on that responsibility."
Students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale seem to understand the risk and many say they avoid credit cards to avoid accumulating more debt.
With Spring Break around the corner, many students are feeling the temptation of applying for a credit card for extra cash to pay for a quick vacation. However, it seems most won't give in.
"One of my friends is about to go to Florida for Spring Break and he's already short on cash," said SIU student, Travis Washington, "And right now he might be getting a credit card soon, just so he can have fun now, not really thinking about the consequences later on."
If you have a kid in college and they are talking about getting a credit card, Dunham recommends giving them a card with access to your credit. That way, they have a card in case of emergency and you can monitor their spending in monthly statements.