TRENTON, N.J. (2/13/13)--New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Thursday signed a law banning credit card companies from soliciting students on public college campuses in the state.
The legislation was sponsored by State Sen. Kevin O'Toole (R-40). It forbids a New Jersey public institution of higher education from entering into an agreement, or permitting its agents or a student organization from entering into any agreement, for direct merchandising of credit cards in person or by displays to students (polotichernj.com Feb. 7).
The New Jersey Credit Union League said it did not take a position on the bill. The law is designed to prohibit New Jersey public colleges and universities, and their sanctioned organizations from entering into agreements with credit card issuers that allow an issuer to solicit students via direct mail, exhibits and take-one stands, Chris Abeel, league director of government affairs, told News Now.
"In short, the public institution cannot profit from or assist in a credit card issuer's solicitation of its students," Abeel added. "The bill sponsors noted that in 2010, Penn State [University] made $4.2 million from such agreements."
The law affects credit unions the same way it would banks or other credit card issuers. None will be able to enter into credit card solicitation arrangements with New Jersey public colleges and universities, Abeel explained.
The law does not prevent a college or university credit union, such as Rutgers FCU, from offering credit cards to its members, even those who are currently students, Abeel said.
"The credit union is an instrumentality of either the state or federal government, not a college or university organization or agent," he explained. "There was no testimony--nor was it the sponsors' intention--to prevent student access to responsible financial service providers such as credit unions."