Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Keith W. Beard

Second Advisor

Chris LeGrow

Third Advisor

Robert W. McFall


The primary purpose of this study was to predict credit card debt among college students by augmenting Ajzen’s (1991) theory of planned behavior to include the construct of financial literacy. One hundred and forty-three undergraduates completed an online survey measuring attitudes toward credit cards, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and financial literacy. Statistical analyses revealed that attitudes toward credit, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control successfully predicted students’ intention to use credit cards (R2=.32). Financial literacy failed to predict intention to use credit cards. However, a positive correlation was found between attitudes toward credit cards and amount of credit card debt. This information may be incorporated into the development of programs aimed to improve personal finance behavior of college students and also to shape policy designed to protect consumers from predatory lending practices.


Consumer behavior - Research.

Consumers - United States - Statistics.

Consumer behavior - United States - Statistics.

College students - United States - Finance, Personal.