Most college students graduate under a mountain of student loan debt so maybe they shouldn't they shouldn't have to deal with huge credit cards bills too. Bipartisan legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Celeste Riley to prevent credit card companies from preying on college students has been approved by an Assembly panel.

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The bill would bar a public institution of higher education in New Jersey from entering into an agreement, or permitting its agents or a student organization from entering into any agreement, for the purposes of the direct merchandising of credit cards in person or by displays to students.

"College students are often unaware of the consequences of bad credit and many more don't realize the exorbitant interest rates they're charged. In many cases, students end up graduating more in debt to credit cards than student loans," says Riley. "This bill would help curb that likelihood."

A slew of recent reports have highlighted how colleges have received hefty sums in marketing dollars from credit card companies. The country's biggest earner, Penn State, took in $4.2 million in 2010.

Riley says regulators and consumers are paying increased attention to credit card companies' attempts to solicit business from college students. While the 2009 Federal Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of created a number of restrictions on credit card activity on college campuses, it left several loopholes, one of which, this bill would address.

"This bill would protect many unsuspecting college students from the predatory practices often employed by credit card companies," says Riley.

The Assemblywoman also co-sponsors a bill that would require educational brochures on college loan repayment schedules to be created and distributed to high school students. The measure was advanced Monday by a Senate panel.