With the intention of providing consumers with more transparency from lenders, there are big changes to credit card rules and fees on the horizon. But many financial experts have also been emphasizing the equally important need for knowledgeable and responsible borrowing, and this includes responsible borrowing for college. Student loans are a form of credit; just as credit card issuers extend you a “loan” to pay for your purchases, student loan issuers (federal or private) extend you a loan to pay for your college tuition, fees, and expenses. To minimize the risk of relentless student loan debt after graduation, responsible borrowing for college is crucial. The 2009 increase in student loan debt is one reason why financial literacy is a topic you’ll be hearing a lot about in 2010.
Until then, we have time for one more laugh to help us say good riddance to a pretty bad financial year. For a (somewhat painfully) funny look at the credit card industry, take a look at “Card Reform in Action,” a video by political cartoonist Mark Fiore and hosted on the website of the Center for Responsible Lending:
To get a jump start on increasing your financial literacy, read the latest on what to look out for in your credit card agreement fine print: Dodging Reform: As Some Credit Card Abuses Are Outlawed, New Ones Proliferate. New laws may be helpful, but ultimately, responsible borrowing, whether for college, a house, or a wide-screen HDTV, will be up to us, the borrowers.