Maxed out students need a fairer deal from banks

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The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) and Finsec are joining forces to try and keep students out of high-interest debt. The amount students owe on credit cards has increased by 32% since 2004, according to the NZUSA Income and Expenditure Survey. Credit card debt has increased at a higher rate than low to no interest overdrafts.

 “We want banks to value their student customers by easing penalties for default payments and offering no interest overdrafts and loans as last resorts. We want banks to follow the government’s lead and ensure that students aren’t further punished by crippling market interest on their bank debts, especially after graduation,” said Paul Falloon, NZUSA Co-President.

 Finsec says that the student market is key for the banks and that the banks should adopt an ethical approach to student accounts. This would include low interest, low fee credit card options for students and other low income customers. “Better Banks for students will support them through their studies with no-interest packages and not load them up with credit card debt,” said Campaigns Director Andrew Campbell.

 Check out the following links for media coverage of this story and Westpac’s response:

http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/411749/1601168

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10494488

http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyID=132895

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU0802/S00392.htm

http://www.bankingtimes.co.uk/26022008-nz-banks-called-on-to-assist-students/

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