The CFPB has released its eighth annual report to Congress on college credit card agreements.  The annual report is mandated by the CARD Act.  (The first two reports were issued by the Federal Reserve Board.)

The CARD Act requires mandatory reporting to the CFPB by card issuers on agreements with institutions of higher learning or certain affiliated organizations (such as alumni associations).  The information in the report is current as of the end of 2018.  Since its report on 2016 data, the Bureau’s annual reports only discuss college credit card agreements and do not include information on other financial products marketed to students such as debit cards.

The CFPB’s findings based on the agreements and related information that issuers are required to submit annually to the CFPB include:

  • The total number of issuers participating in this market declined from 2017 to 2018, a reversal of the general trend of the number of issuers in this market increasing since 2009.
  • No new issuers submitted data to the Bureau and two issuers exited the market.
  • The total number of agreements declined from 2017 to 2018, representing the resumption of a trend of decline from 2009 that was only interrupted in 2017.
  • Agreements between issuers and alumni associations continued to dominate this market by most metrics.

The CFPB notes that 2018 represented the first year since 2011 in which year-over-year declines were registered in all of the following metrics: number of issuers, agreements in effect, year-end open accounts, payments by issuers, and new accounts opened.