Why youth voting matters in this midterm election. Originally published in the Durham Herald-Sun.
Avoid The Debt Trap provides you with the tools to avoid misleading and predatory practices by financial institutions and the knowledge you need to protect yourself, empowering students as financial consumers. This guide will help you understand and manage the basics of personal finance: banks, bank accounts, ATMs, bank fees, credit & debit cards, credit scores, budgeting, debt collection, ID theft, and financial privacy.
Today, a survey released by the ConnPIRG Education Fund shows that 65 percent of student consumers have opted out of buying a college textbook due to its high price, and nearly half say that textbook costs can dictate whether they take a course.
PIRG In The News
Given the history of shady dealings between banks and colleges, Congress needs to take a hard look at the increasingly common practice of schools contracting with banks to disburse financial aiddollars to students.
Thought the student loan crisis was bad as it is? Now add hefty fees into that mix. Providers say students can avoid the fees that pile up when they elect to receive their financial aid on a debit card, but new research from a consumer advocacy group finds that these companies throw up roadblocks to keep the fee revenue rolling in, even as colleges make big bucks off their affiliations with these institutions.
Consumer advocates have long criticized the amount of fees associated with debit cards. Most recently, a report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund found that hundreds of colleges have partnerships with financial companies to put a student’s financial aid on debit or prepaid cards that carry hefty fees. Under some of these deals, official student photo ID cards can double as debit cards.
“This should send a clear message to Congress that this is a common sense nonpartisan issue,” said Rich Williams, higher education advocate for U.S. PIRG.
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