About 42 per cent of university students are in the red and 11 per cent have a monthly credit card debt of $3,599 on average, a survey has revealed. A further 23.9 per cent claimed to have financial difficulties from time to time. Half had no idea how much they spent each month and 79 per cent did not keep records of their expenditure. The survey, commissioned by the Caritas Family Crisis Support Centre and carried out by the Centre for Social Policy Studies at Polytechnic University, interviewed 858 full-time students from seven universities. Paulina Kwok Chi-ying, supervisor of the Caritas Family Crisis Support Centre, said the strategy of many banks to promote credit cards among students might be encouraging them to overspend. 'Most banks issue credit cards to students without examining their financial abilities,' she said.