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Ask Reddit: What’s the Best Way To Build Credit?

An important skill for students to build is the ability to critically analyze any form of media (articles, videos, reader comments or even friends and family) that they rely upon for financial advice. Forums such as Bogleheads can be a useful place to find financial advice but still requires a critical eye to separate the signal from the noise.

I came across this question on Reddit (“Just turned 18, What is the best way to start building credit) that had a manageable number of responses. I thought this would be a good assessment to use after your Managing Credit unit. This question about building credit has become more important for young people given CARD Act regulations that make it difficult to get a credit card before the age of 21 unless you have a parent co-signer or an independent source of income.

Here’s the mini-activity. Ask your students to…

Question: What’s the Average Credit Score In Your Community?

Update of an earlier post from January 2016 (we like to keep things current around here:)

Here’s where the data came from for this report:

In order to identify the cities with the highest and lowest credit scores, WalletHub’s analysts compared the average credit scores of residents in each of 2,534 U.S. cities as of October 2016, based on TransUnion data.

Click on a dot in the map near where you live to determine how your community’s credit score compares with the rest of the country:

What I’ve Been Reading This Week (For Week Ending 4/8)

  • Tesla now worth more than Ford but their valuation depends on hitting aggressive sales targets for Model 3 (Economist)

But Tesla is going to have to crank production up by an awful lot more to make the 500,000 cars a year which Mr Musk wants to see pouring off the production line by 2018, let alone the 1m intended for just two years later. To reach those volumes, Tesla is counting on its forthcoming Model 3. Priced at around $35,000, the new car will cost around half that of the other two models. Due to begin production later this year, the Model 3 is supposed to take Tesla into the mass market, where it will face stiff competition from plug-in vehicles produced by existing mass manufacturers, including GM, Nissan and BMW.

What I Have Been Reading This Week…

Here’s a weekly round-up of articles that caught my attention this week that I thought you would find interesting:

  • Want to find out what it feels like to own a volatile stock? Find out how this investor got emotional by making a $3 trade in this MarketWatch article, “I drove myself crazy by investing $3 in the stock market.”

“Turns out, it doesn’t cost much to drive yourself batty over your investments. For the past week, ever since I broke one of my cardinal investing rules by buying an individual stock, I have experienced pronounced emotional swings over the company’s every tick and trade, feeling accomplished when the price rises and despondent when it falls.”

  • You may have heard about robo-advising to create passive investing portfolios, now the largest fund company in the world is investing in algorithms to make stock picks in actively managed funds. Find out more in this NY Times article “At BlackRock, Machines Are Rising over Managers to Pick Stock,”

Laura’s Insights: NGPF in the Classroom!

This year, NGPF took our show on the road and taught personal finance workshops in several local schools.  These experiences included a 3 day workshop at the Nueva School (San Mateo), a four session workshop at Castilleja school (Palo Alto), seven sessions with an AVID classroom at Mountain View High School (Mountain View) and our intensive 6 week workshop at Eastside Prep (East Palo Alto). In this post, I will share my experiences at the Castilleja School, an all-girls school just down the road from our office.

Given the time constraints (only 4 sessions), I modified our recently released 8-Hour Workshop and focused on Paying for & Budgeting During College, Understanding Debt & Credit, Why Credit Scores Matter and finishing with a Crash Course in Investing.

In each of the sessions, the girls engaged with the content and asked many great questions. Here were some of my highlights:

Resource Lists for Financial Educators (courtesy of Barbara O’Neill of Rutgers Cooperative Extension)

What does a distinguished professor do during her sabbatical? Curate personal finance resources, of course! In this blog post, Barbara O’Neill shares the fruits of her hundreds of hours of labor in putting together three awesome resource lists (see bottom of post for links to her lists), including what what she considered the “best of the best” from the NGPF library. As she describes below, the purpose of her odyssey was to replenish her “well” of creative learning activities. I hope that your “well” overflows as you find resources that will work in your classroom. Thank you Barbara for this tremendous gift to the community! Your commitment and dedication to improving financial literacy in this country inspires us.

What’s New With Credit Reports?

Here are a few new developments that we are tracking:

  • Consumers are about to benefit from changes afoot with credit reports (From WSJ [subscription] with hat tip to NGPF Team member, Sonia):

Top NGPF Podcasts

Looking for a great opportunity to deepen your knowledge on a topic that has been vexing you for weeks, months or maybe even years? Well, the NGPF podcast is a great place to turn. I interview experts including educators, NY Times bestselling authors, columnists at leading newspapers, researchers and academics. I thought I would share with you our top 10 podcasts over the past 12 months, based on data from Soundcloud:

By |March 14th, 2017|Credit Cards, Credit Reports, Credit Scores, Investing, Podcasts|