Golden Financial Services Scholarship Essay, by Kathleen Ryan Crocker
How American’s Could Get Credit Card Relief
Restricting the act of lending will only provide temporary a temporary fix to the immense amount of credit card debt in the United States. A more permanent solution to this issue is the education of teenagers in regards to personal finance and the consequences going over budget can have on your future. At my public high school in Houston, Texas, All seniors are required to take an Economics class. The options provide are AP, Honors, and Level. While it is crucial that teens and young adults learn how the economy works, I think that our school system is going about it the wrong way. Instead of teaching us the vocabulary and the workings of our economic system that won’t apply to the average 18-year-old, teach students material that will directly relate to them.
I am sitting here, writing this on Tax Day and frankly, I don’t know exactly what Tax Day entails. I am a firm believer that teenagers should be taught how to do their taxes before they graduate from high school. I had to do my taxes for the first time ever this winter. Without the help of my parents, I wouldn’t have been able to fill out and gather the paperwork necessary to complete my taxes. However, many of my peers who also had part-time jobs over the summer didn’t have the help from their parents and struggled greatly. If taxes had been a mandatory part of high school curriculum, my classmates and I would not have had the issues we did with filing our taxes.
Another cause for this issue is misinformation of credit and what the different purposes for cards are. I think it should be mandatory for all students to learn about their line of credit, what a good score is and what resources are available for them. If you were to walk into my high school right now and ask the first student you saw what the differences between a credit card and a debit card are, odds are they wouldn’t be able to tell you. Schools need to be teaching students the advantages and disadvantages of debit and credit cards, as well as how each card should be used. Students need to understand which card would be best for their financial situation. Most high school students have a debit card into which their payment for part-time or summer jobs is deposited. However, entering college many will be lured into getting credit cards with the promises of 0% interest and the ease of having a student account. What many don’t realize is the effect that a bad credit score will have on their life, and how difficult it is to fix it. Students need to be taught how to properly use a credit card and how to keep a good score. Most young adults don’t realize the longevity of a poor credit score and that it can majorly affect future plans such as buying a house.
Not only should schools be required to teach us how to set up credit and debit cards, schools should have services to help students see what type of card is best for them. Once a month after school for an hour, students should have the opportunity to discuss credit cards, debit cards and different saving accounts. By putting this program into place many students who don’t have parental guidance at home can begin to learn about their personal finances and plan out their financial futures before attempting to get college loans. Additionally, this will be key for kids traveling away for college, because they will learn how to be fiscally responsible before being
on their own. Additionally, after-school meetings could be beneficial for students who are shy and are afraid to talk and ask questions in class. This way, all students will be at an equal advantage in regards to help in their financial futures. Additionally, an after-school platform could be a good way to introduce different concepts that are outside of the course curriculum. Concepts such as a 401(k) plan, Bonds, and Certificates of Deposit.
Introducing programs into the required state curriculum could be incredibly beneficial to the economic future of the United States. As I explained, a permanent solution to this issue is to educate teenagers about their own personal finance and the consequences going over budget can have on your future. My belief is that if this program is implemented and students are educated about the economy and the options they have, delinquent credit card debt will decrease drastically.
If you are interested in learning more about debt relief programs – try the Golden Financial Services National Debt Calculator Tool.