Students warned to avoid credit card "gimmicks"

19 September 2003
Students have been warned by a leading consumer rights group to steer clear of credit card companies offering "gimmicks" to persuade them to sign up.

Expensive credit card debts could "push students over the edge", cautioned the National Consumer Council ahead of Freshers' weeks across the country.

Surveys show that UK students can leave university with between £10,000 and £15,000 debts.

The NCC warns students to beware of card companies offering free gifts such as cameras or book tokens and to look carefully at the often high charges associated with credit cards.

NCC CEO Ed Mayo's warning was backed by the National Union of Students.

NUS president Mandy Telford said: "Make sure you read the small print and fully understand the charges that come with credit cards."

However, a spokesman for Barclaycard accused the NCC of insulting students' intelligence and claimed they were among the bank's most responsible customers.