OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 6483 (as amended by House “A”)*

AN ACT CONCERNING CREDIT CARD OFFERS ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires the Board of Governors of Higher Education, by January 1, 2010, to adopt policies regulating credit card issuer marketing practices on Connecticut's public college campuses. The bill defines “marketing” as any activity attended and facilitated by a credit card issuer's agent or employee when it is designed to offer a credit card to students enrolled at a Connecticut public college. This does not include (1) activities open to or accessible by the general public, such as advertisements in posters, newspapers, magazines, television, radio, Internet, or other similar activities; or (2) activities or merchandising conducted within the physical boundaries of an on-campus financial services business.

The bill also prohibits credit card issuer's from taking any debt collection action, including, telephone calls or demand letters, against a student's parent or legal guardian, unless the parent or guardian has agreed in writing to be liable for the student's debts under the credit card agreement. The bill defines a student as a person who is under age 21 enrolled full- or part-time at a public college.

*House Amendment “A” defines “marketing”; adds information session requirements for issuers marketing on campus; specifies that the educational material is to be distributed with marketing material; prohibits marketing during orientation; replaces a prohibition against selling student information with a requirement to comply with a federal privacy law before disclosing data; limits the ban on gifts and incentives to marketing at athletic events; and adds the provision on debt collection actions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2009

POLICIES

Requirements and Prohibitions

The policies regulating credit card marketing on public college campuses must require credit card issuers to:

1. register with a public higher education institution before marketing on a campus;

2. at least once every year that they market on campus, personally appear at an on-campus location open to all students to provide educational information and answer questions (the school must advertise the appearance); and

3. distribute credit card management education material along with any marketing material.

The policies must also restrict the time and place for marketing credit cards and prohibit:

1. credit card issuers from soliciting undergraduate students during orientation and class registration periods;

2. public colleges from disclosing undergraduate students' identifying information to credit card issuers unless the schools provide the students with notice and the opportunity to opt out of the disclosure in accordance with the federal Family Educational Records and Privacy Act regulations;

3. public college employees from marketing credit cards to students; and

4. the use of gifts and incentives in marketing at intercollegiate athletic events.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Banks Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

16

Nay

0

(03/10/2009)

Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

15

Nay

0

(04/07/2009)