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Credit Cards Forum Attracts Capacity Student Crowd

From left, Professors Mehrotra, O’Halloran and Akana

On November 5, Hospitality Management Professors John Akana, Amit Mehrotra and Patrick O’Halloran conducted a forum in New York City College of Technology’s Thomas Ahrens Amphitheater for students, faculty and staff that provided participants with guidelines on sound credit card management and overall financial discipline.

“I was amazed at how many students 25 and younger with mounting credit card debt often exceeding $20,000 asked about how to declare bankruptcy,” says Professor O’Halloran. Recently subjected to the dramatic increases in interest rates and other fees imposed by the banks and other lending organizations, many of these young people clearly are on the brink of financial despair.”   

The forum covered such topics as how to reduce/eliminate credit card debt, ground rules for all credit card holders, indicators that one is in financial trouble, guidelines for first-time credit card holders and debt consolidations loans. Professor O'Halloran’s remarks focused on secured and unsecured debt consolidation loans and on prepaid credit cards and debit cards.

The three faculty members are currently researching the effects credit card debt are having on college students and expect to publish their findings sometime next year. According to Professor Akana, their preliminary research indicates that of student cardholders carrying debt, more than one in ten have balances exceeding $25,000. The average graduate student has six credit cards, with one in seven owing more than $15,000.

Professor Mehrotra notes that “the average credit card debt among all American households is $8,400, and 40 percent of all families annually spend more than they earn. Twenty-four percent of all personal expenditures in the U.S. are made with credit and debit cards and 60 percent of active credit card balances are not paid off monthly.”

For more information on their research and on future presentations, contact Professor O’Halloran at


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