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Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chair of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, plans to hold a hearing on Thursday to address credit card marketing that targets students. The hearing, titled "Problem Credit Card Practices Affecting Students: The Need for Legislative Action," will draw testimony from consumer groups, the New York Attorney General's office, the credit card industry and students, according to a spokesperson in Maloney's office. Maloney said in a statement that lawmakers should ensure that card companies are not unfairly targeting students, many of whom rely on credit cards to pay for everything from books to tuition. "Unfair and deceptive credit card practices hit [students] especially hard and cause them to rack up late fees, high balances and delinquencies," she said. Maloney in February introduced the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Act, which would prohibit various card practices, such as universal default and "any time, any reason" repricing of card rates and terms (CardLine, 2/7). The bill, however, does not mention restrictions on marketing cards to students. The Credit Card Reform Act, which Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., introduced in March, would require consumers under age 21 to sign an opt-in form to receive credit card solicitations (CardLine, 3/13). The Menendez bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., in April proposed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which contains several provisions that overlap with Maloney's bill and would require consumers under age 21 to get a parent's or guardian's signature before obtaining a credit card. Dodd has not yet officially introduced his bill in the Senate.

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