Students facing more credit card debt

As requirements for the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act loom, some students may find they are already deep in the hole when it comes to credit card debt.

Take, for instance, Bryce Petty, a 28-year-old graduate from the University of Pennsylvania. Petty, who was recently featured in an article from Reuters, has amassed $11,000 in credit card debt on five different cards. As a result, she has enrolled in debt management programs in order to get out of debt.

Her past has affected her credit score, which is making it harder for her to carry on with her adult life.

“I have this great Ivy League education, but now I can’t get a loan or apartment without a co-signer,” Petty told Reuters. “It’s an ongoing battle that makes me afraid for the future.”

New requirements in the Credit CARD Act, including requiring some people under 21 to get a co-signer for a credit card, are aimed at trying to prevent students from falling into debt at an early age. According to Sallie Mae, the average credit card debt for a graduating senior was $4,100 in 2008, up from $2,900 in 2004.

Furthermore, states such as Illinois and Connecticut have passed laws limiting the ability of companies to market credit cards to students.