The survey showed they have no concept of minimum payments, interest, identity theft or the fact they will be paying off student loans for years to come.
The part of the survey I found particularly alarming was that one-third of high school seniors have credit cards and half have debit cards. I remember when I tried establishing credit and the first credit card I received was from Sears. In order for me to finally get approved for a Visa, I had to make payments on a car loan for over six months without any late payments. My question is, when did the rules get so relaxed that they hand out credit cards to just anyone? I was amazed to find that 16 year-olds were getting credit card offers, now something is serious wrong when that is happening. The survey showed that college students didn’t fair well either.
One-third of college students have four credits cards apiece when they graduate, and more than half of graduates have piled up $5,000 each in high-interest debt. The number of 18- to 24-year-olds who’ve declared bankruptcy has increased 96 percent in 10 years.
This is what prompted Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., to introduce a bill this week to target financial-literacy starting at the grade school level and reaching through adulthood.
According to the survey one in five people think the way to become rich is winning the lottery, which most of us know you have a better chance at being struck by lightening than winning a mega-millions lottery.
Sen. Patty Murray wants to make sure that students are progressing and that older people have chances to take these classes.
Murray’s bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., would provide grants to state education agencies that agreed to establish financial literacy standards and assess how well students were doing in elementary, middle and high school. Nonprofit organizations also would be eligible for grants. In addition, grants would be available to community and four-year colleges to offer financial literacy classes for their students and for older adults.
When I was in high school we had several different courses that covered this, one was called Single Survival and the other was Money, Banking & Credit. Both courses went over basic check writing, balancing a bank statement, budgets, credit card statements, savings accounts and how to deal with car loans. The benefit of taking Single Survival was it also taught basic cooking skills and how to mend clothes, if you didn’t own a sewing machine. ( For example: how to sew on a button or quick fix in tacking up a hem of a skirt.)
Did your high school offer similar courses?