Creditors Scramble for College Students

"I learned to manage my finances better and build my credit at the same time without depending on my parents," Vu said. "I can understand why this law got signed but I think it's a shame that young people are going to lose out an opportunity to start building their credit early."

McBride advised parents to think carefully before co-signing with their children.

"At the end of the day, the parents will have to know if their child is a good credit risk or not because, as a co-signer, you're on the hook," McBride said.

Building a Credit History

Marissa Zhu, 19, a political science major at ASU, said the law will end up doing a disservice to young people across the country.

"There are many people from working-class families who have to work to pay for school and may not have parents who can co-sign with them," Zhu said. "A credit history from early on is important to building a better future."

Zhu said she doesn't have a credit card herself but is in the process of applying for one before the new law takes effect. If she waits until February, it'll be another two years before she gets a card.

"I just recently moved out on my own and I see how important it is to have established credit," Zhu said.

McBride of Bankrate.com said that having credit is more important than many people think.

"Building credit has a lot more to do than just your ability to borrow money," McBride said. "It also relates to prospective employers, landlords and even auto insurance companies."

He said they all use a person's credit score as a barometer. "Poor credit or insufficient credit may put more hurdles in the way of getting that first apartment or that first job or lower auto insurance premiums."

But Campbell of Central Arkansas said there are other ways young people can start building their credit now without signing up for a piece of plastic.

"Young people can live without credit cards and some students have told me that's actually their choice because of the financial stress," Campbell said. "There are other ways to build credit, which include not over-drafting your bank account, having a savings account, handling your debit card and opening up private accounts at stores and paying responsibly. There are healthy options to finance your life by living within your means and saving for the future."

ABCNews.com contributor Maxine Park is a member of the Arizona State University ABC News On Campus bureau.

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