Officials Launch Review of Debit Cards at College

September 30, 2013
Boston Globe  
consumer financial protection bureau news

The distribution of financial aid to students via debit cards has grabbed the attention of federal officials and lawmakers concerned that students are unaware of the fees associated with the cards. An inquiry into the practice has been launched by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the U.S. Department of Education -- whose rules require free access to federal financial aid -- will address the matter during its upcoming rule-making process.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) are calling for an investigation into relationships between financial firms and over 900 of the nation's colleges and universities. Money from student loans and grants that is left over after tuition is paid often is used by students to buy textbooks or cover living expenses, but they can be hit by fees for cash advances and ATM use, among other things.

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