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CFPB Issues Report on College Affinity Card Agreements

November 15, 2012

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued a report on credit card agreements with colleges and universities, as well as affiliated organizations, including fraternities, sororities, alumni associations, and foundations related to an institution.

Credit card issuers are required to annually submit to the CFPB the terms and conditions of their agreements with institutions or affiliated organization that were in effect at any time during the preceding calendar year. Additionally, issuers are required to submit:

  • the number of credit card accounts covered by the agreement;
  • the amount of payments made by the issuer to the institution or organization during the year;
  • the number of new college credit card accounts covered by the agreement that were opened during the year; and
  • any Memorandum of Understanding between the issuer and institution or affiliated organization that directly or indirectly relates to any aspect of the agreement.

While the number of card issuers increased by one from 2009-2011, the number of agreements, total number of college card accounts open, amount of payments, and number of new accounts opened all declined over the same period.

The CFPB received 798 agreements from 21 issuers for 2011. The majority of those agreements, 633 (79 percent), were submitted by FIA Card Services, N.A., a subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation. Of the 798 agreements received, 42 percent were between an issuer and an alumni association. Agreements directly made between institutions and issuers represented 33 percent of the submissions.

The full report, along with a database containing the individual college credit card agreements, is available on the CFPB website.


Bryan Dickson
Senior Policy Analyst