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Consumer bureau to probe more college financial products

January 31, 2013|By E. Scott Reckard
  • Students wait in a line outside the financial aid office at Santa Monica College. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is examining products marketed to students such as identification cards that double as debit cards, cards that can be used to access scholarship and student loan funds, and school-affiliated bank accounts.
Students wait in a line outside the financial aid office at Santa Monica… (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles…)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has decided to look into whether students are actually getting good deals on financial products marketed to them through colleges and universities.

A 2009 law restricted credit card issuers from using certain types of marketing on college campuses, and made agreements between the financial firms and colleges subject to public disclosure, the consumer bureau noted in its announcement Thursday.

However, it said, less is known about arrangements for other products marketed to students, such as identification cards that double as debit cards, cards used to access scholarship and student loan funds, and school-affiliated bank accounts.

It is asking the public, students, families, educators and financial firms to provide input on their experiences with these products.

The issues include information that schools share with financial institutions, how the products are marketed to students, and the fees students pay to use them. Comments will be accepted through March 18.

The consumer bureau provides information online to help college students handle their loans and choose new credit cards and checking accounts.

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