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Majoring in Credit-Card Debt

Aggressive on-campus marketing by credit-card companies is coming under fire. What should be done to educate students about the dangers of plastic?

This story is the first in a series examining the increasing use of credit cards by college students.

Seth Woodworth stood paralyzed by fear in his parents' driveway in Moses Lake, Wash. It was two years ago, during his sophomore year at Central Washington University, and on this visit, he was bringing home far more than laundry. He was carrying more than $3,000 in credit-card debt. "I was pretty terrified of listening to my voice mail because of all the messages about the money I owed," says Woodworth. He did get some help from his parents but still had to drop out of school to pay down his debts.