Credit Card Condoms?

A new Web campaign compares debt to STDs.

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The idea is so disgusting that perhaps it will work: A new debt awareness campaign, sponsored by the Service Employees International Union and the League of Young Voters, compares "debt disease" to the sexually transmitted kind. The cure? Credit card condoms, of course. From the site:

Abstinence is the only surefire way to avoid catching Debt Disease. If you're concerned that you or your friends can't keep your credit card in your pocket, Credit Card Condoms could be helpful. Keep in mind: although Credit Card Condoms are 99.9% effective, they are only an aid for learning to live a debt-free lifestyle.

Debt disease is spreading quickly among college students, the campaign warns, and once you get it, you could have it for years. According to the site, 78 percent of college students have at least one credit card, and the average credit card debt for graduating seniors is $3,000. (You can see a U.S. News report on college debt trends here.)

To help get the word out, the campaign is holding a contest for the best public service announcement on the topic. The winner will get $5,000 for school expenses, and the video will be broadcast throughout the Internet. Sounds as though it could be viral.