Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 369–381

College Students and Credit Card Use: The Role of Parents, Work Experience, Financial Knowledge, and Credit Card Attitudes

  • Adam M. Hancock
  • Bryce L. Jorgensen
  • Melvin S. Swanson
Original Paper


This study examined the influence of parental interactions, years of work experience, financial knowledge, credit card attitudes, and personal characteristics on college students’ credit card behaviors (i.e., number of cards and amount of debt). Based on data collected across seven universities (N = 413), we found that students who had parents who argued about finances, were juniors/seniors, and were comfortable making minimum payments were the most likely to have $500 or more in credit card debt and two or more credit cards. In addition, number of credit cards held was the only dependent variable influenced by gender and fear of credit cards. These results highlight the importance of early interventions in the life of college students including involving parents as positive role models.


Credit card debt Parent–child interactions Work experience College students Financial attitudes 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam M. Hancock
    • 1
  • Bryce L. Jorgensen
    • 2
  • Melvin S. Swanson
    • 3
  1. 1.Creative Solutions Innovative Strategies, LLC.GreenvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Child and Family RelationsEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  3. 3.College of NursingEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

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