NGPF Fellow Amanda Volz took a fairly basic activity from our bank — COMPARE: Making Credit Decisions — and made it her own. Now, she’s sharing the strategy, guaranteed to liven up your classroom, with you. As an added bonus, the activity she’s referring to is now available in Spanish, too, so some of your English Language Learners can participate fully in this discussion-based fun. Read on for Amanda’s guest blog post…
Students need to understand the business models behind credit card companies as well as other financial service companies. Why? It provides a roadmap for consumers as to how they should use the financial product to AVOID becoming a profitable part of that business model. NerdWallet has a report out about credit card trends, which included this chart showing how credit card companies make money:
I am always amazed when I am searching Google for interesting news stories about credit cards how frequently the articles detail how the “bad guys” manage to steal credit card information. Identity theft can seem like an adult problem to many teens (unless their parents or they have been personally victimized), so I thought this quick WebQuest might bring the topic home to them. I thought it would be interesting to provide an update to my earlier 2015 post titled (apologies to Paul Simon) “50 Ways to Swipe Your Credit Card (or Debit Card) Number.”
So, here’s the assignment:
I had a great conversation with Beth Kobliner recently. Beth has an incredible personal finance focused CV. She’s been a columnist at Money Magazine, authored one (and soon to be two) New York Times Bestsellers (Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties), served on the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, and gave financial advice to Elmo on Sesame Street (and a whole lot more too)! In this NGPF podcast, Beth shares the money lessons she learned growing up in Queens, New York as well as the motivation for her latest book, Make Your Kid a Money Genius, to be released in February. You will benefit from Beth’s insights on how to invest, use credit cards wisely and a simple test to control those impulsive purchases. Parents will find Beth’s new book a godsend in describing developmentally appropriate actions to build that financial decision-making muscle that your children need to thrive in this financially complex world. Enjoy!
A great opener to your Types of Credit unit. Start by asking your students to rank from largest to smallest the various types of consumer debt:
- Credit Cards
- Auto Loans
- Student Loans
Answer and visual below (from Visual Capitalist and Equifax): $12.4 trillion (as of August 2016)
I had one of those annoying situations occur over the break. I got an email (which I missed) from my credit card company notifying me that my automatic payment from my checking account had been returned by my bank. Something about a bad account number which was the SAME account number that I have used to pay the balance on my card (successfully) dozens of times. You know the drill from here with credit card companies, if your payment is not made on time, the late payment kicks in and interest charges and a higher penalty APR comes along for the ride. As a customer who had NEVER made a late payment on this card, I was confident that a phone call would reverse all this nastiness and it DID (I blogged about how to negotiate your everyday expenses last year and that advice came through). Phew!
So, when I went to reset my automatic payment on my credit card back to the same account number that I have used countless times, I was dismayed to see this:
From Financial Times (sub. required):
Answer: A LOT! Almost $23 BILLION in 2016 based on estimates from Instinet
These reward programs provide cash back or points (that can be exchanged for goods or services) to cardholders based on their spending habits. The FT article answers a few questions that students might have: