Student interest in credit cards on the decline

While recent legislative shake-ups made it harder for students under 21 to access credit cards without their parents’ permission, new research indicates young adults are losing interest in the payment system regardless of the changes.

According to recent data by major credit reporting company Experian, credit card use among adults in their early 20s and late teens dropped nearly 50 percent in 2010.

In addition, the average credit card balance in this age group rose only 0.4 percent last year, The Orlando Sentinel reports. This is despite the fact that college graduates have been increasing their credit card debt exponentially over the last decade, as tuition rose across the U.S.

“As far as frivolous credit-card spending, I would say it has been reduced a lot now,” Cody Swain, a recent University of Central Florida graduate and a staff assistant at UCF’s business incubator, told the Sentinel. “It’s still there to some extent, but there’s definitely a greater sense of caution now than in the past.”

While many young adults may be switching to debit cards and cash, recent research shows many freshman and sophomore students are still gaining access to credit cards, often by exploiting loopholes in the new regulations.