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Young and in debt
More than a quarter of Arab youths owe money, mostly in the form of credit cards and personal loans. But how did they borrow so easily?
March 7, 2010 6:40 by Aarti Nagraj
While consumer spending could certainly help given the current economic situation, such high accumulation of debt amongst youngsters will be cause for alarm for some.
In the US, a new law, which came into effect in February this year, states that no one under the age of 21 can get a credit card without a guarantor (a parent or another adult who is liable for charges not paid), or unless they can prove that they have enough income to make monthly payments. The ‘Credit Card Accountability and Responsibility Disclosure Act of 2009′ also states that card companies cannot market cards on college campuses.
“I think that financial management is a big undertaking and I don’t think we should allow young people to get themselves mired in a lot of debt before they’re really old enough to understand their own financial future,” Rep. Keith Ellison, one of the bill’s chief authors, told local media.
“I want the kids in our society to have a good start on adulthood and I don’t want them walking into mounds of debt. In my opinion, it was a way to look out for kids and help kids to be successful financially,” he said.
All of which begs the question: Do Arab youths also require stricter guidelines in order to curb their spending habits, and limit their access to loans?