While I hate to admit it, I certainly have! Of course, those were in the ol’ college days when i was pretty naive about things. But man, i shiver just thinking about it! Thank goodness i’m a bit older and wiser now…or at least older ;)
Anyways, I was reminded of it when I got a press release from someone over at TrueCredit.com. They commissioned Zogby International to do a survey of college graduates and came out with a pretty interesting list of stats regarding credit card usage.
Here was the most interesting quote i saw:
“The TrueCredit.com survey also revealed that four in 10 people have signed up for a credit card to receive a free gift or special offer. More than half of those respondents (52 percent) left college with credit card debt. “
FOUR in TEN! I knew giving away free stuff worked, but my damn that’s some good marketing. I always fell for the shirts that had our school logo or something similar on it – it beat spending $35 on one from the bookstore anyday! haha…
I wish I could remember all the card details, but sadly it’s been too long. There was ONE, however, that started charging me monthly for it!!! I was smart enough to cut up the card, but sadly forgot to call and cancel it right away – after i got the free gift of course. I think i had like $40 on it that I “owed” but i called and bitched and got them to wave it AND cancel it…although looking back it was totally my own fault. i never read anything! ha ha, how many times have we heard that one before :)
The survey also said that 1 in 4 students leave with more than $5,000 in credit card debt! That makes me sad :( I seriously doubt this is all because of a few free t-shirts, but it certiainly helps.
When will middle and high schools start teaching about personal finance?! Maybe they’ve started already, i’m not sure, but even just ONE class can go a loooooooooong way. The kids won’t remember everything because sometimes you have to learn on your own, but i gaurantee they’d pick out at least 1 or 2 things that struck them.
I’m just glad i’m over the free t-shirt thing…and it turns out i can get shirts basically free from TJ MAXX, Rugged Wearhouse, thrift stores, you name it! Yeah it may be a few more dollars, but no way in hell you’re getting me to sign up to any more funky credit cards again. Now, if they start handing out Saucony running shoes or gift cards to Amazon, i might be in trouble ;)
ps: Funny enough TrueCredit.com offered me a free tee just for posting about this survey! haha…I turned it down, but i still wanted to share it with you because i thought it was pretty cool. just thought I’d throw that out there in case you were wondering if this was a sponsored post or anything, which just so you know i never do. Here’s the entire article if you’d like to read more about it: Experts at TrueCredit.com Examine College Debt and the “Cost of Free”
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Yes, I still have a card that I signed up for on campus in 1995. Don’t know what happened to the t-shirt, though. :(
I’ll tell you what happened with it – it disappeared just as fast as your money! Haha… So glad they banned that practice a decade or so later… What a riot.