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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Launches Inquiry on Campus Financial Products

Bureau Seeks Information on Financial Products Marketed to Students by Colleges

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it is launching an inquiry into the impact of financial products marketed to students through colleges and universities. The CFPB intends to use the information gathered to determine whether these arrangements are in the best interest of students.

“We have seen many colleges establish relationships with financial institutions to offer banking services to their students,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “The Bureau wants to find out whether students using college-endorsed banking products are getting a good deal.”

The Credit CARD Act of 2009 (CARD Act) restricted financial institutions from using certain types of marketing practices on college campuses. The CARD Act also made agreements between credit card issuers and institutions of higher education subject to public disclosure. However, less is known about arrangements regarding other products marketed to students. To better understand the market, the CFPB is publishing today a Notice and Request for Information on the topic of campus financial products. Campus financial products include student identification cards that double as debit cards, cards used to access scholarships and student loans, and school-affiliated bank accounts.

The CFPB is asking the public, students, families, the higher education community, and financial institutions to provide input on their experiences with these products. The Bureau is seeking input on a variety of related issues including:

  • What information schools share with financial institutions when they establish these relationships;
  • How campus financial products are marketed to students;
  • What fees students are being charged to use these products;
  • How schools set up marketing agreements with financial institutions; and
  • Student experiences using campus financial products in their day to day lives.

To help students navigate their current options, the CFPB released a guide for college students on how to choose a new card or checking account. In the wake of a public settlement with a financial company alleged to have targeted college students, the CFPB also released a consumer advisory to warn students about potential pitfalls.

The CFPB also maintains a database of college credit card agreements, which can be accessed at:

The 2012 Annual Report on College Credit Card Agreements is available at:

The notice, along with information on how to electronically submit comments, is located on the CFPB’s website. The public may submit comments until March 18, 2013.

The Notice and Request for Information is available at: